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Updated: 28 min 44 sec ago

Monthly Record Update for November 2020

1 hour 50 min ago

FamilySearch expanded its free online archives in November of 2020 with over 38.4 million new indexed family history records and over 200,000 digital images from all over the world. New historical records were added from Austria, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Croatia, Denmark, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, England, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Guatemala, Kiribati, Mexico, Micronesia, Niue, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Samoa, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Tuvalu, the United Kingdom, Uruguay, Venezuela, Zambia, and the United States, which includes  Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, District of Colombia, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Washington.

United States Bureau of Land Management Tract Books, 1800-c. 1955, and United States City and Business Directories, ca. 1749 – ca. 1990,  are included as well.

Digital images were added from England.

Find your ancestors using these free archives online, including birth, marriage, death, and church records. Millions of new genealogy records are added each month to make your search easier.

Don’t see what you’re looking for? Check back next month and, in the meantime, search existing records on FamilySearch.

CountryCollection Indexed Records Digital ImagesCommentAustriaAustria, Carinthia, Gurk Diocese, Catholic Church Records, 1527-1986                342
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionAustriaAustria, Vienna, Jewish Registers of Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1784-1911          62,775
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionBoliviaBolivia Catholic Church Records, 1566-1996        155,302
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionBrazilBrazil, Bahia, Civil Registration, 1877-1976                651
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionBrazilBrazil, Civil Registration, 1860-2006          29,327
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionBrazilBrazil, Minas Gerais, Civil Registration, 1879-1949          42,7910Added indexed records to an existing collectionBrazilBrazil, Paraná, Civil Registration, 1852-1996          46,301
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionBrazilBrazil, Santa Catarina, Civil Registration, 1850-1999          30,110
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionCanadaAlberta, Catholic Church Parish Registers, 1865-1916                692
0New indexed records collectionCanadaCanada, New Brunswick, County Register of Births, 1801-1920          11,561
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionCanadaManitoba Church Records, 1800-1959            1,539
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionCanadaNew Brunswick, County Registers of Births, ca. 1812-1919        194,2450Added indexed records to an existing collectionCanadaNova Scotia Births, 1864-1877        103,214
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionCanadaNova Scotia Church Records, 1720-2001          14,2010Added indexed records to an existing collectionCanadaNova Scotia Deaths, 1864-1877          59,571
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionCanadaNova Scotia Marriages, 1864-1918        196,491
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionCanadaNova Scotia, Church and Civil Records, 1727-1884                8700New indexed records collectionCanadaOntario, Church and Civil Records, 1801-1948          27,423
0New indexed records collectionCanadaOntario, Immigration Records, 1862-1897            8,888
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionCanadaOntario, Roman Catholic Church Records, 1760-1923          27,4520Added indexed records to an existing collectionCanadaUnited States, Passenger Lists of Aliens Pre-Examined in Canada, 1906-1954          37,582
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionCosta RicaCosta Rica, Cemetery Records, 1958-2013                410
0New indexed records collectionCosta RicaCosta Rica, Civil Registration, 1823-1975          98,722
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionCroatiaCroatia, Delnice Deanery Catholic Church Books, 1571-1926            7,071
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionDenmarkDenmark, Århus Municipal Census, 1918          16,596
0New indexed records collectionDenmarkDenmark, Århus Municipal Census, 1936            1,365
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionDominican RepublicDominican Republic, Catholic Church Records, 1590-1955          43,229
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionEcuadorEcuador, Catholic Church Records, 1565-2011        255,819
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionEcuadorEcuador, Cemetery Records, 1862-2019        119,871
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionEnglandEngland, Essex Non-Conformist Church Records, 1613-1971            3,682
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionEnglandEngland, Herefordshire Bishop’s Transcripts, 1583-1898          29,144
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionEnglandEngland, Huntingdonshire Parish Registers            7,709
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionEnglandEngland, Middlesex Parish Registers, 1539-1988          58,378
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionEnglandEngland, Norfolk Bishop’s Transcripts, 1685-1941          31,938
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionEnglandEngland, Norfolk Marriage Bonds, 1557-1915            9,085
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionEnglandEngland, Norfolk, Parish Registers (County Record Office), 1510-1997        554,621
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionEnglandEngland, Northumberland Non-Conformist Church Records, 1613-1920          21,3810Added indexed records to an existing collectionEnglandEngland, Northumberland, Parish Registers, 1538-1950          11,133
218,240Added indexed records and Images to an existing CollectionFijiFiji, General Register of Immigrants, 1870-1911          15,731
0New indexed records collectionFijiFiji, Plantation Register of Indian Immigrants, 1879-1919          36,075
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionFinlandFinland, Tax Lists, 1809-1915          43,311
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionFranceFrance, Haute-Garonne, Toulouse, Civil Registration, 1792-1893            8,860
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionFranceFrance, Haute-Vienne, Census, 1836          16,251
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionFranceFrance, Rhône, Military Registration Cards, 1865-1932          35,500
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionFranceFrance, Saône-et-Loire, Parish and Civil Registration, 1530-1892                449
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionGermanyGermany, Paderborn, Catholic Church Records, 1653-1875     2,358,751
0New indexed records collectionGermanyGermany, Prussia, East Prussia, Catholic and Lutheran Church Records, 1551-1992     2,819,997
0New indexed records collectionGermanyGermany, Prussia, Saxony, Census Lists, 1770-1934          44,135
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionGermanyGermany, Prussia, West Prussia, Catholic and Lutheran Church Records, 1537-1981        409,071
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionGermanyGermany, Rhineland, Diocese of Trier, Catholic Church Records, 1704-1957        533,170
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionGuatemalaGuatemala, Chimaltenango, Civil Registration, 1877-1994          38,726
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionKiribatiKiribati, Vital Records, 1890-1991                855
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionMexicoMexico, Chiapas, Catholic Church Records, 1557-1978        792,672
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionMexicoMexico, Coahuila, Catholic Church Records, 1627-1978        520,295
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionMexicoMexico, Distrito Federal, British Consulate Deaths, 1827-1926            1,241
0New indexed records collectionMexicoMexico, Nayarit, Catholic Church Records, 1596-1967        420,509
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionMexicoMexico, Oaxaca, Catholic Church Records, 1559-1988     3,893,729
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionMexicoMexico, Sinaloa, Civil Registration, 1861-1929          41,879
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionMexicoMexico, Sonora, Catholic Church Records, 1657-1994        261,993
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionMicronesiaMicronesia, Civil Registration, 1883-1983          17,613
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionNiueNiue, Register of Baptisms, 1926-1947                  34
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionNorwayNorway Census, 1865     1,688,075
0New indexed records collectionNorwayNorway Census, 1891     2,727,197
0New indexed records collectionNorwayNorway, Oslo Census, 1901          53,159
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionNorwayNorway, Probate Index Cards, 1640-1903          21,935
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionPapua New GuineaPapua New Guinea, Birth Records, 1888-2004          22,354
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionPapua New GuineaPapua New Guinea, Vital Records, 1867-2000                  12
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionPeruPeru, Junín, Civil Registration, 1881-2005          32,469
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionPeruPeru, Pasco, Civil Registration, 1931-1996            3,070
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionPeruPeru, Piura, Civil Registration, 1874-1996        218,900
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionPeruPeru, Prelature of Yauyos-Cañete-Huarochirí, Catholic Church Records, 1665-2018          32,589
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionPeruPeru, San Martín, Civil Registration, 1850-1999                810
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionPortugalPortugal, Setúbal, Catholic Church Records, 1555-1911                  50
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionPuerto RicoPuerto Rico, Civil Registration, 1805-2001            2,746
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionSamoaSamoa, Vital Records, 1846-1996            9,302
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionSouth AfricaSouth Africa, Church of the Province of South Africa, Parish Registers, 1801-2004          42,806
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionSouth AfricaSouth Africa, Civil Death Registration, 1955-1966        159,802
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionSouth AfricaSouth Africa, Civil Marriage Records, 1840-1973                153
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionSouth AfricaSouth Africa, Dutch Reformed Church Registers (Cape Town Archives), 1660-1970                 797
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionSouth AfricaSouth Africa, Dutch Reformed Church Registers (Cape Town Archives), 1660-1970            5,317
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionSouth AfricaSouth Africa, KwaZulu Natal, Vital Records, 1868-1976          10,688
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionSouth AfricaSouth Africa, Orange Free State, Civil Death Registration, 1902-1954                104
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionSpainSpain, Province of La Coruña, Municipal Records, 1648-1941          43,867
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionSwedenSweden, Örebro Church Records, 1613-1918; index 1635-1860          20,726
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionSwedenSweden, Västerbotten Church Records, 1619-1896; index, 1688-1860        182,855
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionTuvaluTuvalu, Vital Records, 1866-1979            1,780
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited KingdomEngland, Berkshire, Reading, Cemetery Records, 1843-1959          64,917
0New indexed records collectionUnited KingdomEngland, Norfolk, Bishop’s Transcripts Index, 1600-1941          12,664
0New indexed records collectionUnited KingdomGreat Britain, War Office Registers, 1772-1935          96,152
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesAlabama Voter Registration and Poll Tax Cards, 1834-1981        366,281
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesArizona, Apache County, Voting Records, 1882-1920            1,248
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesArizona, Birth Certificates, 1909-1917            3,503
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesArizona, Gila County, Voting Registers, 1881-1920          54,212
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesArizona, Pinal County, Voting Records, 1876-1920          24,047
0New indexed records collectionUnited StatesCalifornia, County Birth and Death Records, 1800-1994                2420Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesCalifornia, customs passenger lists of vessels arriving at San Francisco, 1903-1918          32,396
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesCalifornia, Los Angeles, Angelus-Rosedale Cemetery/Crematory Records, 1884-2002          49,695
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesCalifornia, San Francisco Chinese passenger lists, 1882-1947          90,098
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesConnecticut, Births and Baptisms, 1639-1941            1,729
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesConnecticut, Charles R. Hale Collection, Vital Records, 1640-1955        127,505
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesConnecticut, Deaths, 1640-1955          14,234
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesDistrict of Columbia Birth Returns, 1874-1897            1,763
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesDistrict of Columbia Deaths, 1874-1961          10,217
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesHawaii, Collector of Customs, Ships’ Passenger Manifests, 1843-1900                154
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesHawaii, Hawaiian Islands Newspaper Obituaries, 1900-ca.2010            9,077
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesHawaii, Honolulu, Voter Registration Applications, ca. 1920-1966        183,919
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesIndiana Marriages, 1811-2007        133,630
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesIowa, Church and Civil Births and Baptisms, 1837-1987          28,691
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesIowa, Church and Civil Deaths, 1845-1987          20,278
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesIowa, County Death Records, 1880-1992        243,833
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesIowa, Poweshiek County, School Records, 1895-1941            1,491
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesKansas, Births and Baptisms, 1811-1940            1,239
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesKansas, Deaths, 1811-1940                  74
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesLouisiana, Orleans and St. Tammany Parish, Voter Registration Records, 1867-1905        191,694
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesMaryland, Allegany County, Tax and Voter Records, 1798-1948          54,364
0New indexed records collectionUnited StatesMaryland, Births and Baptisms, 1665-1995            6,715
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesMassachusetts Deaths, 1841-1915, 1921-1924            2,889
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesMassachusetts Deaths, 1841-1915     2,604,818
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesMassachusetts Town Births Index, ca. 1630-1905        131,763
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesMassachusetts Town Deaths Index, ca. 1640-1961        358,173
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesMassachusetts, Births, 1636-1924            6,681
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesMassachusetts, Boston Tax Records, 1822-1918        136,625
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesMassachusetts, Town Clerk, Vital and Town Records, 1626-2001     1,111,033
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesMichigan, Saginaw County, Biographical Card File, ca. 1830-2000            1,169
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesMinnesota, Death Records and Certificates, 1900-1955        697,277
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesMinnesota, Stevens County Genealogical Society Records, 1876-2006          23,550
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesMississippi, County Marriages, 1858-1979          89,307
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesMissouri Births, 1817-1939                    1
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesMontana, County Voting Records, 1884-1992          58,944
0New indexed records collectionUnited StatesNew Hampshire, Town Clerk, Vital and Town Records, 1636-1947          67,959
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesNew Jersey, County Naturalization Records, 1749-1986        126,786
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesNew Jersey, Death Index, 1901-1903; 1916-1929            1,050
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesNew York, Church and Civil Births and Baptisms, 1704-1962          39,566
0New indexed records collectionUnited StatesNew York, Church and Civil Deaths, 1824-1962        211,446
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesNew York, New York, Index to Passengers Lists of Vessels, 1897-1902        135,802
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesNorth Carolina, Voter Registers and Certificates of Registration, 1868-1964        145,697
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesOhio, Church and Civil Births and Baptisms, 1765-1947            3,025
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesOhio, Church and Civil Deaths, 1833-1967          43,370
0New indexed records collectionUnited StatesOhio, County Births, 1841-2003            1,056
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesOhio, County Death Records, 1840-2001            1,143
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesOhio, Grave Registrations of Soldiers, 1810-1955        311,796
0New indexed records collectionUnited StatesOhio, Veterans Home Deaths and Burials, 1889-1930            3,821
0New indexed records collectionUnited StatesOhio, Voter Records, 1893-1960          85,667
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesOklahoma, Noble County, Parker Funeral Home, Funeral Records, 1908-1982                    3
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesOklahoma, Voter Records, 1906-1956          12,413
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesPennsylvania Cemetery Records, ca. 1700-ca. 1950            1,756
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesPennsylvania Delayed Birth Records, 1941-1976          13,056
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesRhode Island Town Births Index, 1639-1932        210,472
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesRhode Island Town Deaths Index, 1639-1932        282,252
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesRhode Island, State Births Index, 1819, 1852-1900        289,897
0New indexed records collectionUnited StatesRhode Island, Town Clerk, Vital and Town Records, 1630-1945        575,668
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesRhode Island, Vital records, 1846-1898, 1901-1953        410,684
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesTexas, Eagle Pass Arrival Manifests and Indexes, 1905-1954          62,917
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesTexas, Grimes County, Marriage Records, 1951-1966                657
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesTexas, Hardin County, Registers of Births, 1882-1939                  29
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesUnited States Bureau of Land Management Tract Books, 1800-c. 1955          72,689
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesUnited States City and Business Directories, ca. 1749 – ca. 1990     3,776,892
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesUnited States, New York Land Records, 1630-1975     3,426,678
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesUtah, Brigham City Family History Center, Obituary Collection, 1930-2015          48,938
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesVirginia, Bureau of Vital Statistics, County Marriage Registers, 1853-1935          54,578
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesVirginia, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Death Records, 1853-1912          31,604
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesVirginia, Rockingham County, Marriage Registers, 1864-1926                121
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesVirginia, United Daughters of the Confederacy, Applications for the Relief of Needy Confederate Women, 1915-1967            1,933
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesWashington, County Birth Registers, 1873-1965        116,981
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesWashington, County Death Registers, 1881-1922                136
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUruguayUruguay, Civil Registration Index Card, 1900-1937          36,846
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionUruguayUruguay, Passenger Lists, 1888-1980        333,240
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionVenezuelaVenezuela Civil Registration, 1873-2003                  66
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionVenezuelaVenezuela, Catholic Church Records, 1577-1995        498,079
0Added indexed records to an existing collectionZambiaZambia, Archdiocese of Lusaka, Church Records, 1950-2015          12,615
0Added indexed records to an existing collection

A Research Guide to 1910 United States Census Records

4 hours 47 sec ago

The 1910 United States census was the 13th federal census taken by the United States since 1790. There was a late question added—so late, in fact, that census forms had already been printed. Read ahead to learn what the mysterious new question was and other fascinating facts about the 1910 US census records.

Enter a name below to search for your ancestors in the 1910 United States census.

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What Made the 1910 United States Census Records Notable? A Late Question Added

As mentioned above, the most notable difference in the 1910 census was the late addition of a question regarding the native language of persons born outside the United States. Since the census schedule had already been printed, the enumerators were instructed to write the mother tongue of people born outside the United States, their father, and their mother in the columns for their birthplaces. You will notice in the example below from Norton, Summit County, Ohio, that the Vaminsky family recorded their nativity as Russia and their mother tongue as Polish. Additionally, the man at the bottom was born in France, and his mother tongue was listed as French.

In some cases, you will note that the birth country of family members are the same, but their native languages are different. For example, you may find a community of families from Hungary, but their mother tongue may be listed as Magyar, Slovak, Ruthenian, or something else. This difference is a clue about where in Hungary each family is from.

Questionnaires Distributed in Advance

For the 1910 census, some enumerators in large cities distributed the census questionnaire in advance. This early distribution was the first time something like that had ever been done. It gave people time to prepare their answers. Because some of the enumerated population was given time to prepare, the information may be a bit more accurate in the 1910 census—but don’t necessarily count on it!

Two Population Schedules

As with the 1900 census, the 1910 census included two population schedules—a general population schedule and a special Indian schedule.

The additional population schedule was titled “Special Inquiries Relating to Indians,” but it is most commonly known as the Indian Population Schedule of 1910. The Indian Population Schedule of 1910 asked the same questions that were asked in the general population schedule, but additional questions were added to the bottom of the census page to gather information about the following:

  • Tribe of the person
  • Tribe of the person’s father
  • Tribe of the person’s mother
  • Proportion of American Indian and other lineage
  • Number of times the person was married
  • Whether the person was living in polygamy
  • The educational institution the person graduated from
  • Whether the person was taxed
  • If the person received an allotment, the year of the allotment
  • Whether the person resided on his or her own lands
  • Whether the person lived in a “civilized” or “aboriginal” dwelling
Survivors of the Civil War

A new question, question 30, was asked of all males over age 50 who were born in the United States and all foreign-born males who immigrated to the United States before 1865. The question was if the person was a survivor of the Union or Confederate Army or Navy. The enumerator was instructed to write “UA” for a survivor of the Union Army, “UN” for a survivor of the Union Navy, “CA” for a survivor of the Confederate Army, and “CN” for a survivor of the Confederate Navy.

How Many Marriages

For the first time in any United States census, the 1910 census asked specifically which marriage a married person was in. The answer was noted in the Single, Married, Widowed, or Divorce column. If a person was in his or her first marriage, the enumerator often wrote “M1.” If a person was in a second marriage, the abbreviation would be “M2.” Subsequent marriages would be “M3,” “M4,” and so on.

Life Leading Up to the 1910 Census

Henry Ford introduced the Model T, humans took flight at Kitty Hawk, a great San Francisco earthquake rocked the West, and a raging fire consumed Baltimore. These were just a few of the significant happenings of the decade.

See your ancestors in a different light by learning about the country and its people leading up to the 1910 census.

View 1900s Fashion Gallery What is the Lost Generation?

Search 1910 US census records for your ancestor’s story today!

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The Silent Generation: Characteristics and History

Wed, 12/02/2020 - 14:44

The term “Silent Generation” was first documented in a 1951 Time magazine article, which claimed that the most startling fact about this generation was its silence: “By comparison with the Flaming Youth of their fathers and mothers, today’s younger generation is a still, small flame.”

The generation’s “silent” behavior has been attributed to the difficult times in which they were born, as well as their coming of age during McCarthyism. Though the Silent Generation is known for traditionalist behavior and a desire to work within the system rather than to change it, many not-so-silent and untraditional members of this generation shaped the world in significant ways.

The Birth Years of the Silent Generation

As with all generations, the birth years given for the Silent Generation vary depending on who creates the evaluation or defines the term. An often-used range, however, is 1928–1945. These years span from the beginning of the Great Depression to the end of World War II. People born during this time are also sometimes called “Radio Babies” or “Traditionalists.”

The term “Silent Generation” mainly refers to people living in the United States, but in some other parts of the world, war and economic trouble led to similar characteristics and behaviors in people born during this time.

Who Are the Silent Generation?

The oldest members of this generation were born at or near the beginning of the Great Depression. They were children during World War II and came of age during the 1950s and 60s. This generation is significantly smaller than their predecessors, those of the Greatest Generation, and smaller than the next generation, the Baby Boomers.

Many scholars believe that the Silent Generation’s low birth rate was due to the uncertainty and difficult conditions of the time, which meant that fewer people felt secure in starting families and raising children. The Silent Generation, as well as the Greatest Generation, were the parents of the Baby Boomers.

Characteristics of the Silent Generation

The Silent Generation began life in some of the most difficult conditions, including the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, and economic and political uncertainty. The circumstances surrounding their upbringing led many of this generation to adopt cautious, conscientious behavior. The members of this generation also often have the characteristics described below.

The Silent Generation is thrifty. Members of this generation were born at a time when, because of war rationing and economic uncertainty, some of their parents could barely afford to feed them. This tragic situation led to a new way of thinking about resources, and these children found themselves raised with thriftiness in mind.

The Silent Generation is respectful. Members of this generation typically have a deep respect for authority. They often worked in the same job or company for the majority of their careers.

The Silent Generation is loyal. Members of this generation are not only loyal to their careers but also to their religious beliefs, their relationships, and their families. They value stability and likewise are stable and dependable.

The Silent Generation is determined. This generation experienced many difficult times and challenges. Survival required grit and strength and a strong sense of determination.

Their Slice of History Korean War

The soldiers sent to Korea during the Korean War were primarily from the Silent Generation. While this conflict is sometimes referred to as the “Forgotten War,” it has not been forgotten by this generation. The conflict defined a significant part of their lives and deepened the conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union. Many brave soldiers lost their lives.

McCarthyism and the Red Scare

The McCarthy era was one of fear and enforced conformity. It got its name from United States Senator Joseph McCarthy but was a widespread phenomenon. During this time, many people in the United States feared communist spies or communist sympathizers. Because of this fear, some government officials began screenings and trials to determine loyalty. Many citizens were accused and lost their careers, and some were imprisoned. Joseph McCarthy is most remembered for his investigations, which are often compared to witch hunts. Due to this social turmoil in their early adulthood, those of the Silent Generation would try keep their heads down.

Civil Rights Movement

While the generation may be called silent, many of the most influential voices in the civil rights movement were a part of this generation. These civil rights activists were anything but silent, advocating for change and equality. Nearly all the great leaders of the civil rights movement were a part of the Silent Generation. Martin Luther King Jr., born in 1929, was one of the most influential leaders at that time. The Little Rock Nine Students, born during the years 1940–1942, were among the first to integrate schools. These members of the Silent Generation, along with other members of the Silent Generation who were involved in this historic movement, were incredibly influential and inspiring.

The Silent Generation in Your Family

Who in your family tree is a part of the Silent Generation? What were their experiences during their lives? Learn more about your family’s story by exploring your family tree and recording their memories and experiences.

Record Your Memories of the Silent Generation

New Languages available on FamilySearch.org

Wed, 12/02/2020 - 01:00

One of FamilySearch’s goals is to help people worldwide discover how they are connected in the human family’s shared Family Tree. Now, it will be even easier for people to use FamilySearch’s resources.

Throughout 2020, FamilySearch has become available in 20 additional languages. These languages bring the total count of FamilySearch’s supported languages to 30. With these newly available languages, you can add family members to the family tree, explore historical documents, record memories, and more!

What Are the Newly Available Languages?

Previously, FamilySearch was available in 10 languages:

The following languages have become available this year:

All these languages are available on the browser version of FamilySearch.org. They are also available on the FamilySearch Family Tree app as long as the language is supported by the user’s phone.

How Do I Set My Preferred Language on FamilySearch.org?

Changing your preferred language on FamilySearch.org is easy. The site automatically sets the language to the same language as the web browser, provided that the language is one supported by FamilySearch; however, if the browser language is not your preferred language, it’s easy to switch.

Scroll to the bottom of the FamilySearch page. On the left side is a small globe icon with the selected language next to it. Clicking this link opens a pop-up with a list of available languages. Select the preferred language, click Apply, and the page will refresh—this time in the selected language.

The FamilySearch Help Center has more information. Be sure to check it out if you need it!

Explore FamilySearch in Your Language

If you haven’t created a FamilySearch account yet, now is the perfect time. It’s free, and an account allows you to explore your ancestors’ lives in new and unique ways. Pick your preferred language, create an account today, and start exploring what FamilySearch has to offer!

The Baby Boomer Generation—Birth Years, Characteristics, and History

Wed, 11/25/2020 - 11:14

The “Baby Boomer Generation” refers to people who were born during the years following World War II. Though the term “baby boomer” wouldn’t be used for this generation until 1963, the boomers were the largest generational group in the United States until very recently.

Note: The review of the Baby Boomer Generation and other generations mainly apply to the United States. Globally, countries often have different names and ways of defining generations.

When Was the Baby Boomer Generation?

Although there is some variation depending on the birth years that comprise the Baby Boomer Generation, a widely accepted range is 1946–1964. This range is used by the Pew Research Center. The parents of the baby boomers were members of the Silent Generation and the Greatest Generation.

What Is the Baby Boomer Generation Known For?

Baby boomers got their name from a phenomenon known as the baby boom. This boom was a spike in birth rates after World War II. In the United States, around 3.4 million babies were born in 1946, more than ever before in United States history. This trend continued, with 3 to 4 million babies being born each year from 1946 to 1964. These births led to a total baby boom population of nearly 72.5 million, the largest generational cohort in the United States at the time.

Search Birth and Other Vital Records What Caused the Baby Boom?

This rapid rise in births is attributed to many causes. In some cases, those who wanted families had waited until after the war was over to have children. By this time, the Great Depression’s economic turmoil and the war were finally subsiding. Soldiers returned home ready to start families and hoped to provide a better life for their children. Through the G.I. Bill, many veterans were afforded economic and educational opportunities, allowing them to own homes and support children.

Baby Boomer Characteristics

While there is no one way to describe an entire generation of people accurately, here are some general characteristics that tend to be seen in baby boomers:

  • Baby boomers value relationships. As they grew up, there was a growing belief in the value of spending time with family and friends. This belief was in part due to economic growth and increasing labor laws, which led to more free time.
  • Baby boomers are goal centric. They were raised with the idea of the American dream, and they push themselves to reach their goals.
  • Baby boomers are self-assured. This generation has confidence in themselves and their abilities. They influenced the culture of the nation greatly, and they believe that hard work makes a difference.
  • Baby boomers are resourceful. During their lifetime, members of the baby boomer generation have witnessed some of the greatest technological advances in history, and they often have learned to use the resources available to them. Baby boomers often learn to fix things themselves.
Their Slice of History The Korean War and the Vietnam War

During their childhood, baby boomers witnessed the Korean War as well as rising tension in Vietnam. They witnessed the effects of those conflicts early in life. When they reached adulthood, many served their country in the Vietnam War. During this time, some baby boomers also participated in the antiwar movement. They were certainly no strangers to national conflict.

Civil Rights Movement

Baby boomers grew up during the height of the civil rights movement. Many young men and women of this generation were influenced by great civil rights activists. The movement promoted legal equality and led to greater tolerance during the adulthood of the baby boomers.

Sputnik, Space, and Education

In 1957, Sputnik was launched into orbit, and the world marveled at the accomplishment. The Sputnik could be seen whizzing across the night sky. This achievement induced a radical change in the education system in the United States. Many felt that the education system had fallen behind, and a new emphasis was put on science and mathematics.

The government began investing huge amounts of resources into research and developing new technologies. This investment opened new opportunities for baby boomers to innovate and change the world of technology. Over a decade later, they witnessed the moon landing.

The Berlin Wall

During their lives, many baby boomers saw almost the entirety of the Cold War. They were born during a period of high tension between the United States and Russia. Many were children when the Berlin Wall was constructed in August 1961 and would have heard the famous line “Ich bin ein Berliner” proclaimed by President Kennedy. Many would also later witness the destruction of the Berlin Wall in November 1989.

Technological Advancement

Baby boomers were born into a world of black and white television and now live in the age of Wi-Fi, smartphones, and machine learning. Many of the earliest computer-age innovators are baby boomers, such as Steve Jobs and Bill Gates.

Which Baby Boomers in Your Family Influenced You?

Share the stories of the baby boomers in your family and ask them about their experiences during these pivotal times in history.

You can also compare what life is like today with the life they were born into by trying the “All about Me” discovery experience. Either sign into your FamilySearch account, or use the guest experience to compare the population, award-winning music and media, and other world information of today with the same information from the time of the baby boomers.

Compare Life Then and Now: Learn Fun Facts About Your Birthday Preserve Your Stories Forever with FamilySearch Memories

Free Printable Family Tree Templates and Online Family Tree Ideas

Tue, 11/24/2020 - 12:14

Want to display your family story in a fun, creative way? The following free family tree templates will help you do just that. These family tree ideas not only look great on the wall, but filling out the family tree charts is a great activity to bring the whole family together!

Printable, Free Family Tree Templates

Print one or more of the family trees below, and fill out the boxes with your family names. For help on how to make a family tree online, skip to the bottom for information on FamilySearch’s family tree maker.

Download PDF Download PDF Download PDF Download PDF Download PDF Download PDF Download PDF How to Make a Family Tree Chart Online

You don’t need to print family tree to record your family history. FamilySearch offers a wonderful free family tree maker you can access right from the app store or from your browser!

The FamilySearch Family Tree provides an easy online template for recording your genealogy. After filling out some basic information about your family (we recommend starting with the first four generations), you can view your family tree in several ways, including as a genealogy fan chart or basic pedigree chart. You can even print your online family tree chart!

Create Your Family Tree Print Family Tree
Fan Chart
Family Tree Maker: Add First Four Generations Online Family Tree Template Views

Other Online Family Tree Ideas

For some other creative family tree ideas, you can check out our online family tree template activity that pulls directly from your FamilySearch family tree. All you need is a FamilySearch account (create one for free!) and a few names added to your family tree. FamilySearch will automatically generate a family tree image that you can print from home.

Print Your Online Family Tree Template

What Did the Pilgrims and Native Americans Eat at the First Thanksgiving?

Mon, 11/23/2020 - 15:35

Every year in November, many people in the United States gather with family for a giant feast. The traditional meal includes turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, glazed carrots, green bean casserole, macaroni and cheese, rolls—you name it. All the things the first Pilgrims and the native Wampanoag ate back in the year 1621, right?

Of course, we know that isn’t exactly accurate. For one thing, macaroni and cheese is definitely not a traditional Thanksgiving food, nor did the Pilgrims and Wampanoag have oven-safe dishes for baking green-bean casseroles. Or marshmallows. So, what did the Pilgrims eat during that very first Thanksgiving? Let’s take a deeper dive. The answers might surprise you.

1. Turkey

There’s a good chance the Pilgrims and Wampanoag did in fact eat turkey as part of that very first Thanksgiving. Wild turkey was a common food source for people who settled Plymouth. In the days prior to the celebration, the colony’s governor sent four men to go “fowling”—that is, to hunt for birds. Did they come back with any turkey? We don’t know for sure, but probably. At the very least, we know there was a lot of meat, since the native Wampanoag people who celebrated with the Pilgrims added five deer to the menu.  

2. Mashed Potatoes

Keep dreaming. At the time the Pilgrims celebrated their first Thanksgiving, most Europeans had never even seen a potato, let alone learned to mash them and drown them in gravy. Same goes for the Wampanoag. The history of the potato is as long as it is glorious and deserves its own article, to be sure. But to make a long story short, potatoes come from the high Andes of South America and weren’t really cultivated in North America until the 1700s. So, no, cross it off your list—mashed potatoes are not an original Thanksgiving side dish.

3. Cranberry Sauce

By fall 1621, the Pilgrims were essentially out of sugar. Translation—no cranberry sauce. Even with sugar, the Pilgrims still wouldn’t have used it to sauce cranberries. That’s because the tart little berry was new to them. Native Americans made dyes out of cranberries. But the day when the first man or woman would combine sweetened cranberries with a mouthful of stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, and white turkey breast in one satisfying, jaw-stretching bite was somewhere in the future.

4. Corn

It’s very, very likely the Pilgrims and Wampanoag ate corn for the first Thanksgiving—but not the frozen kind that you heat up in the microwave (obviously). Nor was it the boiled kind, the cobbed kind, the pudding kind, or the cornbread kind with little bits of sausage in it that only your great-aunt Suzie knows how to make. The corn the Pilgrims and Wampanoag most likely ate for dinner that day was the mushy, turned-into-a-thick-porridge kind that you slurp down with a spoon—or a finger, if that’s all you’ve got. From our perspective, nearly half a millennium later, corn porridge doesn’t sound especially good. But apparently if you mix in some molasses, it isn’t that bad.

5. Pumpkin Pie

Pilgrims liked pumpkins. According to accounts, they used to hollow them out, fill them with milk and honey to make a custard, and then roast the orange orbs in hot ashes. But when it came to making pies, the Pilgrims were essentially out of luck. You need butter and wheat flour to make a crust, and in 1621, the Pilgrims didn’t have much of either.  

6. Lobster

You probably don’t eat lobster for Thanksgiving—but the Pilgrims and Wampanoag might have. In fact, food historians speculate that much of the meal must have consisted of seafood. One of the colonists, a man named Edward Winslow, described the setting around his Plymouth home in this way: “Our bay is full of lobsters all the summer and affordeth variety of other fish; in September we can take a hogshead of eels in a night with a small labor, and can dig them out of their beds all the winter. We have mussels . . . at our doors. Oysters we have none near, but we can have them brought by the Indians when we will.”

So, to the question “What did the Pilgrims eat for Thanksgiving,” the answer is both surprising and expected. Turkey (probably), venison, seafood, and all of the vegetables that they had planted and harvested that year—onions, carrots, beans, spinach, lettuce, and other greens. Was it good? Most experts agree that it must have been delicious; otherwise, it wouldn’t have become one of the most famous traditions of all time.

What about You?

Are you surprised to learn that the Pilgrims and their Wampanoag neighbors ate seafood and venison for Thanksgiving? Don’t be. This is the Big Feast we’re talking about—and adding your own personal twist to the traditional meal is, well, part of the tradition!

What are your family’s favorite Thanksgiving dishes? Have you ever taken a picture or recorded the recipe and uploaded it to FamilySearch.org? If so, you’re doing family history, which, by definition, is an awesome thing to do.

Go to Memories to get started. 

Record Your Thanksgiving Memories

1930 United States Census Records: A Research Guide

Sat, 11/21/2020 - 12:10

The 1930 census was the 15th federal census taken by the United States, which has taken a census each decade since 1790. These 1930 census records included the 48 states then in the United States as well as Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the Panama Canal Zone, the Virgin Islands, and Washington, D.C.

Enter a name below to search for your ancestors in United States 1930 census records.

First Name Last Name Place Year   function doSearch() { var base = "https://familysearch.org/search/record/results?count=20&query="; var first = document.getElementById("firstName").value; var last = document.getElementById("lastName").value; var place = document.getElementById("place").value; var year = document.getElementById("year").value; var collections = "(1810731)"; //(1930) 1325221 (1900 census) var url = base+'%2Bgivenname%3A"'+first+'"~%20%2Bsurname%3A"'+last+'"~%20%2Bany_place%3A"'+place+'"~%20%2Bany_year%3A'+year+'~&collection_id='+collections; window.open(url, '_blank'); } .javascript-form label { color: #666662; display: block; font-size: 1rem; font-weight: bold; line-height: 1.35rem; margin-bottom: 5px; cursor: pointer; margin-top: 5px; } .javascript-form input { background-color: #fff; border: 1px solid #ccc; border-radius: 4px; box-shadow: inset 0 3px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.05); box-sizing: border-box; color: #333331; font-family: inherit; font-size: 1rem; height: inherit; line-height: normal; margin-bottom: 5px; margin-top: 5px; padding: 0.429rem 0.714rem; transition: border linear 0.2s; width: 200px; } .javascript-form input::placeholder { font-size: 11px; }

What Made the 1930 Census Distinctive? The 1930 Census Records of Unemployment

The 1930 census day was April 1. Sadly, the stock market had crashed just six months before, and the nation was in the depths of the Great Depression. The government had hoped to collect unemployment statistics with this census; however, the census had no questions regarding employment. Though there was a rushed attempt to collect unemployment information in an added sheet of questions, the numbers reported were determined to be too low. Congress later required a special unemployment census to be taken in January 1931.

Although the unemployment information gathered with the 1930 census was later found to inaccurately reflect the seriousness of the unemployment problem, it still provides worthwhile information to review. Enumerators were instructed to fill out an additional sheet of questions for all gainful workers who were not at work on the workday before the enumeration date. Some of the questions included the following:

  1. Does this person usually work at a gainful occupation?
  2. Does this person usually have a job of any kind?
  3. How many weeks since he has worked at that job?
  4. Why was he not at work yesterday?
  5. How many days does he work in a full-time week?
  6. Is he able to work?
  7. Is he looking for a job?
New Questions

Four new questions were added to this federal census. These new questions included the value of the home or how much was paid in rent, the age at the time of the first marriage, which (if any) war did a person participate in, and whether the occupants of the home owned a radio.

Changes in Enumerating Active-Duty Servicemen

For the first time, servicemen were not recorded with their families. Instead, they were treated as residents of their duty stations.

Veteran Information Collected

Questions 30 and 31 pertained to veterans of the United States military or naval forces who had been mobilized for any war or expedition. If a person was a veteran of a conflict, he was asked to name which conflict he had been in. Enumerators entered “WW” for World War I, “Sp” for the Spanish-American War, “Civ” for the Civil War, “Box” for the Boxer Rebellion, “Phil” for the Philippine Insurrection, or “Mex” for the Mexican Expedition.

Can You Read and Write?

It is interesting to note that the 1930 census is the last census that asked people whether they could read or write.

Race Categories Were Expanded

In previous federal censuses, the race column was inadequate. For example, the 1910 census allowed for only white, black, mulatto, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, and “ot” (meaning other), which was meant to apply to anything else.

In 1930, enumerators were instructed no longer to use “mulatto” as a race classification, and, for the first and only time, “Mexican” was listed as a race option.

This census expanded the options for recording race as follows:

W—White                      Jp—Japanese

Neg—Negro                   Fil—Filipina

Mex—Mexican             Kor—Korean

In—Indian                    Hin—Hindu

Ch—Chinese                 *Other races, spelled out in full

Life Leading Up to the 1930 Census

Learning a little bit about the nation and its people leading up to the 1930 census will give you a greater understanding of the lives of your ancestors.

View 1920s Fashion Gallery and History 1920s Inventions
We Still Use Today
Explore Immigration
in the 1920s
Learn Popular
1920s Slang
Discover 1920s Radio
and Music

The 1920s brought home the last of the American troops returning from Europe after World War I, gave women the right to vote, and ushered in the era of radio entertainment. Innovation and creativity led to greater industry, a more modern dress for men and women, and significant prosperity for families. Unfortunately, the beginning of the decade was a stark contrast to the end of the decade. The 1920s had begun with a roar of glory but unfortunately ended in a crash of great sadness.

How did the events of the 1920s and 1930s affect your family? Search the 1930 census for their story!

First Name Last Name Place Year   function doSearch() { var base = "https://familysearch.org/search/record/results?count=20&query="; var first = document.getElementById("firstName").value; var last = document.getElementById("lastName").value; var place = document.getElementById("place").value; var year = document.getElementById("year").value; var collections = "(1810731)"; //(1930) 1325221 (1900 census) var url = base+'%2Bgivenname%3A"'+first+'"~%20%2Bsurname%3A"'+last+'"~%20%2Bany_place%3A"'+place+'"~%20%2Bany_year%3A'+year+'~&collection_id='+collections; window.open(url, '_blank'); } .javascript-form label { color: #666662; display: block; font-size: 1rem; font-weight: bold; line-height: 1.35rem; margin-bottom: 5px; cursor: pointer; margin-top: 5px; } .javascript-form input { background-color: #fff; border: 1px solid #ccc; border-radius: 4px; box-shadow: inset 0 3px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.05); box-sizing: border-box; color: #333331; font-family: inherit; font-size: 1rem; height: inherit; line-height: normal; margin-bottom: 5px; margin-top: 5px; padding: 0.429rem 0.714rem; transition: border linear 0.2s; width: 200px; } .javascript-form input::placeholder { font-size: 11px; }

Norwegian Genealogical Societies and Other Resources for Norwegian Genealogy Research

Fri, 11/20/2020 - 19:00

Are you new to discovering your Norwegian roots? Or have you discovered a bit about your Norwegian ancestors and are itching to learn more? Fortunately, plenty of records are available online that can help you find your Norwegian ancestors, and Norwegian genealogical societies can help guide you in your journey to find your family.

Starting Your Norwegian Genealogy Research

A good place to start your research is the FamilySearch wiki page on Norwegian research. There you will find the following:

  • Research tools and strategies
  • Maps
  • Word lists
  • Country and cultural background information
  • Lists of available records

The article on Norwegian genealogy research gives additional insight and helpful information as you organize and plan your strategy on your quest for Norwegian family records. These resources include:

  • Record hints
  • Naming conventions
  • Emigration patterns
  • Other helpful tips

Several different types of records are available, including parish records and farm books that contain local histories, called bygdebøker. Learn about these books and other items of interest about Norwegian genealogy at Norway ancestry records.

Norwegian Genealogical Societies Offer More Help

In addition to these resources, try looking at the following associations and sites to help you learn more about your Norwegian American ancestors.

The Norwegian-American Historical Association collects and preserves material about the Norwegian American experience. They have many relevant publications and manuscript collections; they also have an archive of articles, obituaries, and newspapers.

Another place to look is the Norwegian-American Genealogical Association. They have church record transcriptions, a collection of books, maps, publications, family histories, and a Facebook page!

The Norwegian American Genealogical Center and Naeseth Library has access to a large selection of research materials at the Naeseth Library in Madison, Wisconsin. Their collection includes immigration lists, local histories, obituaries, topographical maps, and Norwegian American family histories. They also have genealogists, videos, and webinars available to help. The Norwegian Genealogical Society has a large collection of books and other publications, projects, workshops, and a family history wiki to help with your research needs.

Check out the FamilySearch wiki for a longer list of genealogical societies.

Norwegian Genealogy Research Groups

If you are interested in connecting with others who are researching their ancestry, FamilySearch has a number of research groups that you can join. One that you might consider looking into is the research group on Nordic countries.

The Norwegian-American Bygdelagenes Fellesraad is an umbrella organization for North American bygdelags, which are societies that nurture and perpetuate Norwegian culture and heritage. The organizations are made up of descendants of people who immigrated to North America. The website also has links to Facebook pages for each area, additional pages, and links, along with other research helps.

Various Facebook groups focus on Norwegian genealogy and are worth checking into, such as Minnesota Norwegians—GenealogyNorth and South Dakota Norwegians—Genealogy, and Wisconsin Norwegians—Genealogy.

Start Now to Explore Your Norwegian Connections

Societies and research groups are a great way to start learning about your Norwegian heritage. The FamilySearch Where Am I From? feature can give you additional insight into where your ancestors lived during important world events, and it allows you to trace family lines across the world. Try using this feature in tandem with Google Maps to see photos of your family’s homeland and virtually stand where your ancestors stood. As you take time to learn about the history and culture that impacted your ancestors, consider learning about local traditions or finding dishes that your ancestors may have enjoyed and incorporate them into your family traditions.

Be sure to share what you learn on your FamilySearch tree and in FamilySearch Memories to help your ancestors’ stories come alive for future generations.

Your Norwegian Heritage

Build Your Norwegian Family Tree with Bygdebøker

Wed, 11/18/2020 - 19:00

Until about 1900, most Norwegians lived in rural areas, where farming was the way of life for hundreds or even thousands of years. They tended to live in solitary homesteads scattered across the landscape, rather than clustered together in villages.

The bygdebøker give information about the people living on the farms in these communities as well as a history of the communities themselves. Rural communities or districts, called bygds, often encompassed numerous farms. Over time, each bygd experienced a unique history. Families, who often lived on farms for many generations, had their own stories. So did the land, as it cycled through seasons of plenty and want. Local history unfolded in each bygd’s churches, schools, courts, and community gatherings. 

Gathering the History of Bygds

In the early 1900s, the Norwegian Historical Association began a significant, ongoing effort to document the history of each bygd. They laid the groundwork as local historians began researching the histories of farms and local communities. The writers compiled narratives from parish records, legal records (such as tax, court, or estate documents), and other historical sources as well as from interviews with residents.

The practice of creating bygdebøker remained strong throughout the 20th century. In 1955, Norway’s parliament established a permanent organization to support the ongoing creation of more community histories, which by then also included urban and regional coverage.

Some bygdebøker focus on a general history of a locale. Most bygds have produced multiple volumes—sometimes even annual volumes. Some cover the genealogies of specific families, the histories of individual farms, or updates to the community’s history. They may document how various families are related to each other or divulge some of the dramas and disputes they shared. Many include information on emigrants—people who left for other lands—including their names, destinations, and sometimes even accounts of their lives in North America or other new homelands. Bygdebøker published in recent decades are often more complete and detailed.

Norwegian Family History in Bygdebøker

Family historians who explore Norwegian ancestry consult bygdebøker as key resources. Some bygdebøker chronicle several generations’ worth of genealogical information. Because bygdebøker are compiled sources, their contents should be verified with original records, but they are rich in local history, so these books also provide valuable glimpses into what it was like to live in a particular time and place.

In fact, bygdebøker are so valuable that FamilySearch volunteers in both Norway and the United States have been harvesting genealogical data from them for many years. They are using this information, in combination with other sources, to reconstruct and document many family lines in free community trees. More than 150 community trees have been created, each containing thousands of names.

Those who are building their Norwegian family trees may want to consult copies of bygdebøker. First, you need to determine the name of an ancestor’s community or parish. Then you can look online and in major libraries for copies of bygdebøker for that area. You can also explore Norwegian community trees built by Family History Library experts.

Learn more about bygdebøker and where to find them.

Your Norwegian Heritage

Join the RootsTech Songwriting Contest

Wed, 11/18/2020 - 01:00

RootsTech Connect is all about what binds us together. Music has long been one of the most powerful ways for people to connect with one another, and that is why RootsTech is hosting a songwriting contest centered on connections. What connections mean the most to you? How do you connect with others? How do you connect with the world? All musical styles are encouraged, whether it be rap, classical, pop, country, rock and roll, or any other mix or genre. Entering also gives you the chance to win a Kawai piano!

There are three easy steps to enter the RootsTech songwriting contest:

  1. Write and Record—Share with us a song that shows what it means to connect. Be sure to write down your lyrics for your submission!
  2. Submit Your Entry—Fill out the entry form, and upload your song (as an MP3 file), lyric sheet, and album image before the entry deadline on 31 December 2020.
  3. Vote and Share—All semifinalists will be notified and given a unique link to share with friends and families. Encourage everyone you know to vote for your song, as well as for other songs that they enjoy.

There are multiple categories for entries. So whether you’re a professional, amateur, or youth, RootsTech wants you to tell your stories of connection through song. Go to the songwriting contest page for more information, to find answers to your questions, and to submit your song!

Explore the Contest

Make a Video for a Chance to Be Featured at RootsTech Connect

Tue, 11/17/2020 - 17:00

RootsTech Connect, which will take place on 25–27 February 2021, promises to be the most globally accessible RootsTech there has ever been. No matter where you’re from, RootsTech Connect will have something for you. And now, you can contribute!

From now until the end of December, the RootsTech team is accepting submissions for various types of videos that will be featured during the conference. There are multiple video categories and subcategories—meaning that whatever your strengths are, there is definitely something you can add to make the conference special.

Learn More Category 1: RootsTech Heritage Discovery Videos

Submission Deadline: 31 December 2020

As you know, RootsTech is all about family history. What better way to give RootsTech a personal flair than to share what makes your family history unique?

RootsTech invites everyone around the world to submit heritage discovery videos and share a piece of their corner of the world. These heritage videos can fall into one of three categories:

  • Food. What recipes do you have that are unique to your family or culture? What’s the story behind the food? Share a how-to video on how to make a dish that is significant to you. Be sure to tell us what makes it stand out!
  • Travel. This year’s RootsTech attendees will be from all over the world. Give everyone an insider’s look at why your hometown is the greatest. Record a video showing where you’re from, and bring your home to others! Share clips of your favorite hangouts, sights, or places to eat—anything that makes your home special to you.

Culture and Traditions. Nothing ties us to our ancestors quite like the traditions we’ve inherited from them. Culture and tradition can influence what we wear, what we celebrate, and even what we say. But even between two families of the same culture, practices and traditions are often not identical.

What are your family’s cultural traditions? What makes your family unique? Share how your family celebrates holidays, what traditional clothing your family members wear, or even how to say things in your native language. Whatever you make will give others insight into your heritage and your corner of the world.

Category 2: RootsTech Tips and Tricks Videos

Submission Deadline: 31 December 2020

Let’s face it, while genealogy is fun—addicting, even—there are things about it that can make it tricky, even to the seasoned genealogist. Luckily, none of us are alone! We all have each other to lean on and learn from.

What genealogy tips and tricks have you picked up in your journey through your family tree? How did you finally smash through that family history roadblock, opening up an entire new branch you would never have discovered otherwise? Create a quick video to share the methods that have worked for you. Your contributions will help everyone else at the conference. You might even help someone who is having a problem similar to the one you have overcome.

Guidelines, Tips, and How to Submit

Remember to read carefully and follow the guidelines and rules when it comes to submitting your video. Otherwise, there’s no guarantee that your video can be accepted and shared.

The RootsTech website has a page explaining more about each video category and the rules for submission. Be sure to check it out! It will answer any questions you might have. This page also gives you an easy way to submit your videos. Just click the button link at the bottom of the page.  

We are so excited to see what you have to share!

Share Your Videos with RootsTech

A Research Guide to the 1900 United States Census

Mon, 11/16/2020 - 10:35

The United States began conducting federal population censuses in 1790. The 1900 U.S. census was the 12th federal census, and it included two population schedules—the General Population Schedule and the Indian Population Schedule. This census also included a question that no other census had. Do you know what question that was?

Enter a name below to search for your ancestors in the 1900 United States census.

First Name Last Name Place Year   function doSearch() { var base = "https://familysearch.org/search/record/results?count=20&query="; var first = document.getElementById("firstName").value; var last = document.getElementById("lastName").value; var place = document.getElementById("place").value; var year = document.getElementById("year").value; var collections = "(1325221)"; var url = base+'%2Bgivenname%3A"'+first+'"~%20%2Bsurname%3A"'+last+'"~%20%2Bany_place%3A"'+place+'"~%20%2Bany_year%3A'+year+'~&collection_id='+collections; window.open(url, '_blank'); } .javascript-form label { color: #666662; display: block; font-size: 1rem; font-weight: bold; line-height: 1.35rem; margin-bottom: 5px; cursor: pointer; margin-top: 5px; } .javascript-form input { background-color: #fff; border: 1px solid #ccc; border-radius: 4px; box-shadow: inset 0 3px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.05); box-sizing: border-box; color: #333331; font-family: inherit; font-size: 1rem; height: inherit; line-height: normal; margin-bottom: 5px; margin-top: 5px; padding: 0.429rem 0.714rem; transition: border linear 0.2s; width: 200px; } .javascript-form input::placeholder { font-size: 11px; }

What Was the Unique Question Added to the 1900 Census?

Never before had a United States census asked for the birth month and year of every individual in the family. This question became a life saver after the loss of the 1890 census. The 1900 census can be used as an alternative birth record, though it is not the best option.

Special Reports Conducted during the Census

As mentioned above, the 1900 census included two population schedules. The general population schedule, or census, was for people living in the United States, military personnel in the United States or abroad, and—for the first time—Hawaiian citizens.

The second population schedule was titled the “Special Inquiries Relating to Indians” but is most commonly known as the Indian Population Schedule. The Indian Population Schedule asked the same questions as were asked for the general population schedule, but the bottom of the census page had additional questions that included the following:

  • Other Name, if any
  • Tribe of this Indian
  • Tribe of Father of this Indian
  • Tribe of Mother of this Indian
  • Has this Indian any white blood; if so, how much?
  • Is this Indian, if married, living in polygamy?
  • Is this Indian taxed?
  • Year of acquiring citizenship
  • Was citizenship acquired by allotment?
  • Is this Indian living in a fixed or in a movable dwelling?

The census takers were instructed to enumerate Indians living on and off of reservations.

Congress also allowed for authorized special census agents to collect information on persons with deafness, blindness, insanity, and even juvenile delinquency.

More Helpful Questions on the 1900 Census

The 1900 census included other unique and helpful questions that will benefit your family history research. In the far left column, the census enumerator was to record what street or road the families lived on. In the second column, they recorded the house number. You can use that information to learn more about your ancestors’ neighbors and community and maybe even to find the house on Google Earth!

Question 10 asked, “How many years has the person been married?” The answer in this column can give you a calculated marriage year.

Question 11 asked, “For mothers, how many children has the person had?” and question 12 asked, “How many of those children are living?” The answers to these two questions can lead you to unknown children who may have died or married, give a hint about whether the children in the home were the mother’s stepchildren, or whether an adoption had taken place.

Question 16 asked, “What year did the person immigrate to the United States?” Question 18 asked, “Is the person naturalized?” The answers to these questions can help you locate a passenger list, a border crossing record, or naturalization papers

Life in the 1900s

Gain a greater appreciation for your ancestors and the nation by learning more about their lives in the 1900s.

View 1900s Fashion Gallery What is the Lost Generation?

How did the events of the 1890s affect your family? Search the 1900 census for their story!

First Name Last Name Place Year   function doSearch() { var base = "https://familysearch.org/search/record/results?count=20&query="; var first = document.getElementById("firstName").value; var last = document.getElementById("lastName").value; var place = document.getElementById("place").value; var year = document.getElementById("year").value; var collections = "(1325221)"; var url = base+'%2Bgivenname%3A"'+first+'"~%20%2Bsurname%3A"'+last+'"~%20%2Bany_place%3A"'+place+'"~%20%2Bany_year%3A'+year+'~&collection_id='+collections; window.open(url, '_blank'); } .javascript-form label { color: #666662; display: block; font-size: 1rem; font-weight: bold; line-height: 1.35rem; margin-bottom: 5px; cursor: pointer; margin-top: 5px; } .javascript-form input { background-color: #fff; border: 1px solid #ccc; border-radius: 4px; box-shadow: inset 0 3px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.05); box-sizing: border-box; color: #333331; font-family: inherit; font-size: 1rem; height: inherit; line-height: normal; margin-bottom: 5px; margin-top: 5px; padding: 0.429rem 0.714rem; transition: border linear 0.2s; width: 200px; } .javascript-form input::placeholder { font-size: 11px; }

Finding Help at FamilySearch—A Simplified Menu

Fri, 11/13/2020 - 14:14

The FamilySearch help menu makes it easy to find the help you need when you’re working on your family history. Learn how you can use the menu to get around roadblocks and achieve your goals.

Personalized Help and Suggested Topics

The help menu is available from any FamilySearch web page. Look in the top right corner of the screen, and click the little circle with a question mark. A small menu box will open over the top of wherever you are on FamilySearch.org, which means that you can explore help options without having to leave the page you are working on.

At the top of the menu, you will see a search box. Enter the keywords of a topic or challenge that you want help on, and your search results will appear inside the help menu box. Find the help you need, and apply it to the task at hand—without having to toggle back and forth between screens.

Below the search box is a section titled “Suggested Topics.” The links that you see there have all been tailored to your current page view. Say, for example, that you are on the FamilySearch.org main page but you haven’t signed in.  The suggested topics would be focused on resetting a password or recovering your username and other account-related issues.

Then again, maybe you’re working in Family Tree. In that case, the suggested topics would be focused on the activities or tasks that you can perform on that page—adding information about a family member, for example, or changing the view or perspective of your pedigree chart.

When you open the help menu, we recommend that you take a quick look at the suggested topics first. People often have similar questions, and the articles that appear have been prepared with those questions in mind.

Multiple Help Options to Choose From

Sometimes when you have a question, you just want to talk to someone. Other times, it’s not just a simple answer that you’re looking for but rather an explanation or research article on a topic that interests you. In those situations, the help menu can point you in the right direction.

This time you want to look below the suggested topics to the very bottom of the help menu pop-up box. There you see several items to choose from. Each one takes you to a different kind of help. Use the one you need.

Think of the help center as an online library of FamilySearch help materials. If the suggested topics didn’t have what you were looking for and your search query came up empty, check out the help center. Information is divided into categories—Family Tree, memories, and indexing, to name a few. You can choose a topic and begin browsing its contents. From the help center, you can also access our learning center, which offers you free online courses on a variety of family history topics.

Many of the materials available in the help center were originally composed in English. If you’re viewing FamilySearch.org in a language other than English and a particular article hasn’t been translated yet, you may see the English version instead. We apologize for the inconvenience. Rest assured that we are working diligently to translate and expand our library of help materials into as many languages as possible.

The Community option is a tool for interacting with others who have common interests and are willing to share their expertise.

The Contact Us option takes you to a page with information for getting in touch with FamilySearch or locating one of our many family history centers around the world. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will see contact information for their ward temple and family history consultants. In this section, you will also find a list of your current and previous conversations with FamilySearch support.

The Helper Resources option takes you to a FamilySearch page dedicated to those who help others with their family history interests and goals. Choosing this option gives you important information about updates to the FamilySearch website and tools you can use to assist someone else. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will find information about their church responsibilities and can access the Planner.

Help Is on the Way

Thanks for taking a few moments to learn more about the help menu. At FamilySearch, we understand that sooner or later, every family historian—beginner or expert—needs a little assistance. Next time you hit a roadblock in your family history, don’t get frustrated—and for sure don’t give up!

Just go to the help menu. There’s a great chance that it has what you’re looking for. At the very least, it can connect you with volunteers, customer service, and other helpers, all of whom want to see you succeed.

Discover Your Famous Relatives

Fri, 11/13/2020 - 13:00

What do Tom Hanks, Abraham Lincoln, and Elvis Presley have in common? Besides being famous, they are also all related—and you may be related to them too! With the FamilySearch Famous Relatives discovery experience, it is easier than ever to see how you’re connected to famous people in history.

View Your Famous Relatives How Does Famous Relatives Work?

The Famous Relatives activity searches the FamilySearch Family Tree for your possible connections to famous people in history. For the experience to work, you need a FamilySearch account (if you don’t already have one, you can create a free one) with at least four generations completed. For best results, fill out your family tree as much as possible, aiming for eight generations or more.

The articles below can help get you started!

How to Start a Family Tree Find Your Ancestors in Records

While you are researching your family tree to discover your famous relatives, you can enjoy other fun discovery activities!

Find Your
Look-a-Like

Compare-a-Face lets you upload photos and see how similar you and your family members look. You can finally settle who looks more like Mom or Dad!

Try It Now Discover Your
Name Meaning

Discover the meaning and origin of your surname. You can also view what countries your surname is most likely to be found in.

Try It Now Create
Family Tree Art

Create printable Family Tree art to decorate your home! The activity pulls information from your FamilySearch Family Tree.

Try It Now Map Where
You Came From

Where Am I From lets you map where your ancestors lived, see where they were during major world events, and learn more about your heritage.

Try It Now Record Your
Family Story

Record Your Story will prompt you with questions about your family and personal history. You can also use our 52-questions template to begin writing.

Try It Now View Ancestral Infographic

This activity pulls from your FamilySearch Family Tree information and will create a personalized infographic about your family history.

Try It Now Try On
Traditional Clothing

Picture My Heritage lets you virtually wear the traditional clothing of your heritage. You can also see yourself in old, black and white photos.

Try It Now Learn Fun Facts
About Your Birthday

All about Me will tell you fun facts about the year you were born, such as how expensive gas was, the top music of the year, and other cool facts.

Try It Now Learn about
Your Heritage

Learn about the culture, heritage, and history of where you came from using FamilySearch’s country pages.

Try It Now

FamilySearch Updates Enhance your Experience

Fri, 11/13/2020 - 11:42

To keep you up to date on the latest FamilySearch experience changes, we will be listing them here chronologically. Check back often to see how your FamilySearch experience has improved!

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The FamilySearch help menu makes it easy to find the help you need when you’re working on your family history. A recent update to the help menu makes it even easier to get around roadblocks and achieve your goals. Read about the latest changes.

Update: November 5, 2020—Updates to Settings Page

A recent update has changed the way your FamilySearch account settings are organized. Settings now fall under three main categories: Account, Notifications, and Permissions. Each setting is made easy to choose or disable with simple edit buttons or toggle sliders.

The Notifications section has been updated to allow you to quickly change your settings on notifications through email and text. Now, it is easier than ever to decide just what information you want to be notified about and how.

This update will make it easier for you to customize your personal account preferences and permissions. Go to your account settings, and see what’s new!

Update: November 3, 2020—Search Alternate First and Last Names

You can now enter a person’s alternate first and last names when searching  records on FamilySearch. For example, you can search a person’s maiden surname and married surname in one search query on FamilySearch.org. To search alternate first or last names, click the blue Name link on the Search Historical Records page, and fill out the name details in a new name box.

Below are a few scenarios for when you might want to use the search alternate names feature.

Example 1: You are searching records for a woman who changed her last name when she married.

Often, because of changing surnames, it is more challenging to discover details about your female relatives than it is to discover details about male relatives. The new update makes it easier to find records for both a person’s maiden and married surname in one search.

For more tips on searching and discovering information about women in your family tree, check out this article.

Example 2: You are searching records for someone who had a nickname.

Sometimes, a person in your family tree goes by their middle name or a nickname. Your grandmother could be named Dorothy, but may have been known by the name “Dolly” her whole life and used that nickname for census and other records. Now, you can search alternate first names in one go.

Example 3: Your ancestor had multiple last names.

In some countries and culture, people have multiple last names. For example, in Mexico, many people have two last names (apellidos), one representing their mother’s surname and one representing their father’s. You can fill out multiple alternative surname boxes with these additional last names, making it easier to find records on your family.

Update: November 2, 2020—Share Slideshows on Memories

Earlier this year, FamilySearch released a feature that allows users to create slideshows out of their albums on Memories. Now, you can share your Memory slideshows!

To share a slideshow, first go to your Memories Gallery, and choose the album you want to use to create a slideshow. At the top of the album, click Slideshow. You can also reorder the images in the slideshow by clicking the Reorder link.

Once you start playing your album slideshow, you will see in the top right corner a Share button. Click this button, and select in the drop-down menu how you want to share your slideshow. The person you share your album slideshow with does not need to have an account to view the slideshow.

Visit Memories to check out the new update and share your album slideshows!

Update: October 29, 2020—New Indexing Places Lookup Feature

FamilySearch has added an update that will help users more quickly and accurately index place-names for FamilySearch indexing. After you enter at least three characters in a location field, the new feature automatically suggests possible place-names that are relevant to the project. Click a suggested place-name, or select the place-name, and press Enter. If the suggested places don’t match what you see on the document, type what you see, and the press Tab.

Indexers should not select place-names that are close to what is in the document; they should select only place-names that are the same as what is in the document. When in doubt, type what you see on the document. The system does not always include all the possible place-names that might be encountered in a project.

This places lookup feature will start to appear in some new projects going forward. Existing projects will not change.

Update: August 18, 2020—Changing “Like” to “Bookmark” in Memories

The Like buttons on FamilySearch Memories pages will now say Bookmark instead of “Like.” This term better matches how the buttons work. The bookmark feature will continue to allow you to mark your favorite memories and see them in a Bookmarks collection, which can be found in the left sidebar of the Memories Gallery.

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Update: August 18, 2020—Set Privacy on Specific Memories

On FamilySearch.org, you will now be able to select any memory you have uploaded or story you have created and make it private. This feature will be available for all types of memories, including photos, stories, and audio files. Private memories will be viewable only by the person who uploaded or created the file.

Although FamilySearch Memories is primarily a place for people to share photos and stories, there may be times when you may not want a memory to show on a public profile or on a Memories search results page.

Visit the Memories page or open the Memories App (available on iOS or Android) to see how the new privacy feature works. Hover over an item in the Gallery, and click the checkmark. Then click Actions,and, in the list of options, click Make Private.

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Update: July 13, 2020—”My Contributions” available on Desktop Site

Previously, the “My Contributions” feature, which allows users to see ways that they have helped to build the FamilySearch Family Tree, was only available on the FamilySearch Tree App. Now, the feature is available on the desktop version of FamilySearch.org. To access “My Contributions”, select “Family Tree” on the FamilySearch header. A drop-down will appear; the last option, “My Contributions”, will allow you to view the work you have done to further your genealogy.

Check the FamilySearch Blog for more information on the “My Contributions” feature.

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Update: July 13, 2020—Changes to Watch Feature and Watch Notifications

The Watch feature on FamilySearch.org—which notifies you of changes to a person’s information in the Family Tree—has been renamed “Follow.” This term is similar to what other social media sites use and is more intuitive. In addition to this name change, the Lists drop-down menu option is now labeled “Following.” The Following page shows a list of the persons you follow and a history of recent changes.

To follow a person’s changes in the Tree, you can click Follow on their profile page. Also, anywhere an ancestor name appears in Family Tree, you can click the name to show the Person Card, and then you can click Follow. To unfollow a person, click Following. Notice that the star is filled in when you are following the person.

You can view a list of the people you are following and see all the changes to them for the last 60 days. Just click the Following tab found at the top of the Family Tree or person page.

Notifications of changes made to people you are following will now appear only in FamilySearch messages or notifications, rather than in an email. This change helps avoid excessive messages and unnecessary cluttering of your mailbox.

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Update: June 07, 2020—Improve Place-Names Online Volunteer Opportunity

In the past, FamilySearch has used automation to help improve place-names that are missing standards—but automation can do only so much. A new tool is available (on both desktop and mobile) that allows you to help improve place-names by matching them with a standard place that can be recognized by a map.

This simple volunteer opportunity takes very little time but has a big impact on the Family Tree. With better place-names, FamilySearch can provide more free record hints and can map your ancestors’ life events more accurately.

Learn more about the improve place-names tool, or try it now.

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Update: June 17, 2020—No Longer Using Labels

The label tool in the right sidebar of FamilySearch person pages will no longer be used as a way to note an ancestor was part of a well-known group or participated in a historical event, and the corresponding labels (previously shown in the top right corner of a person page) will be retired.

Example from Before Update:

After Update:

While existing labels will be removed, FamilySearch users can still add rich details about their ancestor’s involvement in these groups and events by using these different methods:

  1. Add a source showing the person’s involvement.
  2. Use the Other Information feature to add an event or fact about the person. (This feature allows you to pick from common types of events and facts or create a custom one.)
  3. Add important biographical details to the person’s Life Sketch.
  4. Create a story or attach a document sharing the details of your ancestor’s involvement.

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Update: June 4, 2020—Add a Topic Tag to More Than One Memory at a Time

Earlier this year, FamilySearch added the topic tags feature to Memories. Topic tags make it easier for users to categorize and find memories later. Now you can add a single topic tag to multiple memories at the same time.

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Update: June 4, 2020—Improved Memories Search

Recent improvements to Memories have made searching Memories easier and faster than ever before. Below are a few updates you may notice to the search experience:

  • Results now display up to 10,000 artifacts per search.
  • Boolean search strategies—such as using AND, OR, NOT, “phrase,” and wildcard*— are more effective. (Learn how to use Boolean search.)
  • Stop words (words that search engines typically ignore) are now recognized by language.

Stem searches are now supported by language. For example, a search for “fish” will turn up search results with related words such as “fishing,” “fished,” and “fisher.”

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Update: May 28th, 2020—Updates to Account Creation for Children

It is now easier than ever for children ages 8–12 to create a FamilySearch account. Parental permission is still required for children in this age group to create a FamilySearch account; however, the process has been streamlined. A new option was added to allow parents to use a text message to confirm their permission for their child’s account. Parents can also use a mobile number to give their child permission to create an account, and they can use the same mobile number to recover the account. So you and your family members can create accounts using only one mobile number.

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Update: May 15, 2020—Change Log Updates

The change log for ancestors in the FamilySearch Family Tree has been updated, making it much simpler to see changes made to an ancestor’s profile. To view the updated change log, go to an ancestor’s page, and, under the Latest Changes tab, select Show All. A page will open that shows in a simple-easy-to-digest summary every change made to that ancestor’s profile.

It’s also now possible to filter changes using a button on the upper right side of the page. Select an option to see all changes related to that option—whether it is a change in a relationship, an alternate name, life events, and more.

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Update: May 7, 2020—Change to Indexing Group Reports

To preserve privacy, information in indexing group reports has been updated to show only a summary of the records indexed and number of people participating. This updated report also helps indexing groups and indexing group coordinators focus more on accuracy over quantity of indexed batches.

Have you ever joined an indexing group on FamilySearch.org? Or created one? An indexing group is a great way to collaborate and stay motivated while indexing. Even better, you can participate in an indexing group remotely or in person, whichever best fits your circumstances.

For some fun ideas of how to index as a group without relying on individual statistics, read this article.

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Update: May 5, 2020—Standardized Places

A systemwide update will take place for a small percentage of places listed in the FamilySearch Family Tree that are not standardized properly. FamilySearch strives to have standardized places and dates to improve record matching and other user experiences.

In cases where a place listed in the Family Tree is not a location, FamilySearch will remove the attached standard, though the original text entry will remain. When the standard is removed, the change will appear with the contributor listed as “FamilySearch” and the date the change occurred. This change will cause a data problem message to appear for vital events. Users who notice the data problem can correct the standard by editing the place data.

This update will help provide more standardized place entries, resulting in better record hints and better matching for possible duplicates. It will also help improve discovery experiences on FamilySearch.org.

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Update: April 9, 2020—Additions to Record Merging Process

Merging two records into one can be an intimidating process. However, new updates to the merging process can help you make the decision. For example, when you begin reviewing possible duplicate records, you may see a merge warning at the top of the screen. This warning lets you know if the two records have previously been merged and will give you some of the details.

Additionally, the merging process now displays the possible duplicate on the left and the current record on the right. This change means you are merging the record on the left into the record on the right. This simple adjustment matches the rest of the website and will help the process flow more smoothly.

Learn more about the merging process.

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Update: April 11, 2020 — Expanded Print Options for Family Tree Fan Chart

FamilySearch.org users now have more printing options for the fan chart display on Family Tree. Not only can they print a fan chart that shows up to seven generations, but any of the seven fan chart views can be printed. These views include Family Lines, Birth Country, Sources, Stories, Photos, Research Helps, and Ordinances.

Learn more about the Family Tree fan chart.

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Update: March 5, 2020 —Mobile App Fan Chart Update

The FamilySearch Family Tree app now has a new way to see your family story—the fan chart, which was previously available only on a laptop or desktop! To turn on this feature, go to your app settings, and select Enable Fan Chart View. You can toggle this selection on or off as desired.

With the fan chart view enabled, you will see a small button in the lower corner that allows you to customize your fan chart view. The fan chart view can show four to seven generations and can be viewed from several perspectives—family lines, birth country, number of sources, stories or photos attached to profiles, and which ancestors have research recommendations. Latter-day Saint users are also able to view which ancestors have ordinances available.

Download the FamilySearch Family Tree app, and give this update a try!

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Update: February 20, 2020—Sharing and Liking Albums, Album Slideshows on Memories

Albums on Memories can now be shared easily to Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest via the Share menu in an album.

FamilySearch users can also now “Like” an album. Liking an album is a way to bookmark an album that belongs to another user. To like an album, click the blue heart Like icon located below the album title. All liked albums display in the user’s My Likes list in the gallery.

Additionally, you can view your album’s photos in a slideshow. To play a slideshow, click on the Slideshow icon below the album title. A window will pop up and give you the options to loop the slideshow or include audio (if the images have audio).

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Update: February 18, 2020—Explore Historical Images Unlocks Data in Digital Records

Have you ever tried searching for your ancestor’s name in online records? FamilySearch, FamilySearch partners, and volunteers worldwide have worked to make over 3 billion records easily findable online with a very simple name search. But did you know that these indexed records represent only 20 percent of the historical records FamilySearch has available online?

Well ahead of any formal indexing or cataloging, the new FamilySearch Explore Historical Images tool can help you find records about your ancestors more easily, even when their information is not text-searchable and seems to be locked inside a digital image. Learn more here.

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Update: February 6, 2020—Topic Tags Added to Memories

FamilySearch Memories released a new feature, “Topic Tags,” that makes it easier than ever before to categorize and find memories.

On the website, the topic tags option is found to the right of images and documents that you are viewing in Memories. Just click the link Add Topic Tags to add tags such as “Recipes,” “World War II,” “Wedding,” and other descriptive terms. Once you start typing, a drop-down menu will give you ideas.

Later, when you want to find memories with a specific topic, you can click the Find tab, select the Search Topic Tags option, and search all of FamilySearch Memories for photos tagged with the topic you are looking for. You can limit your searches to close relatives only by clicking the option Search Only My Close Relatives, found on the search results page.

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Update: February 5, 2020—Header Redesign on FamilySearch.org

The FamilySearch website has a new, streamlined header that is more readable and takes up less space. The Help menu is now more visible and easier for users to find. 

Also—exciting news!—the new Activities page, created early in 2019, has a prominent position in the main header. To discover more about yourself and your family, simply click Activities at the top of the page on FamilySearch.org

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Update: January 15, 2020—Free 2020 Calendar

FamilySearch has made it possible to print out a free 2020 Calendar that gives you dates that would have been important to your ancestors. This calendar includes birth dates, death dates, and wedding anniversaries. Additionally, it is now possible to get calendar reminders in your FamilySearch notifications. These reminders will notify you on the date of your ancestor’s event, and tell you how many years it has been since that day. Click here to view your own personalized calendar and download a free copy.

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More Updates from 2019

See What’s Coming in 2020 All about the FamilySearch Family Tree

Lorena Ochoa at RootsTech Connect 2021

Thu, 11/12/2020 - 01:00

Lorena Ochoa is a retired world-class female athlete and all around force for good. If you’ve ever had the good fortune of personally meeting her, don’t be surprised when she remembers you if you ever meet her again.  She has a gift for remembering the names of people she meets and even details about your last encounter.

You’ll have the chance to get to know Lorena when she speaks as a keynote live online at RootsTech Connect 2021—a free, international family celebration event. Don’t miss it! Mark your calendar.

Register for RootsTech Connect The International Golf Athlete

Lorena Ochoa was born in Guadalajara, Mexico. She first swung into the professional golf world in 2002. As an athlete, she was considered the best golf player in the world for 158 consecutive weeks and has been awarded some of the most prestigious titles.

Lorena was named the Rolex Player of the Year for 2006 and 2009, and ESPY recognized her as Best Female Golfer in 2009 and 2010. In 2008, she was awarded Best International Athlete.

Because she was the winner of the National Sport Award in 2001, 2006, and 2007, Lorena is considered the most awarded golf athlete in Mexico. This 5′ 6″ woman of Mexican descent is certainly an influential athlete in her field, and her achievements didn’t go unnoticed. Lorena was named one of the World’s Most Powerful People in 2008 and was considered one of the 100 Most Influential People by Time magazine in that same year.

The Lorena Ochoa Foundation

In 2010, Lorena paused her professional career as a golf player to focus on the Lorena Ochoa Foundation. The organization, which was founded in 1998, supports the education of low-income children and adolescents through academics, sports, and cultural activities.

The Lorena Ochoa Foundation also focuses on other altruistic activities and the design of golf courses.

Ochoa says of her beloved foundation work, “For me the foundation is the most beautiful thing that my career as a golfer has given me, to be able to help many boys and girls with what education is, which is the most important thing in our country.”

TV Host and Published Author

In March 2012, Lorena became the host of the TV show Vive el Golf, airing on CNN. This 30-minute show celebrates the growth of the popularity of golf in Latin America. But she didn’t stop there! In November of the same year, she published her book Dream Big. Lorena shares her experience as a pro golfer and how discipline, ethics, effort, and supporting family are keys to her successes. This biography has been translated into English and has been enjoyed all over the world.

Still Making Headlines

Lorena retired from professional golf only to take it up again briefly for competition at the Hall of Famers Golf Celebration, an exhibition event in 2012 that brought together the highest figures of international women’s golf.

In September 2017, she was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. She was the first Mexican-born golfer and one of the youngest women to be honored as a member.

Lorena continues to be an active participant in all walks of life. Today, she helps with the work of the Ochoa Group and Ochoa Sports Management, Ochoa Golf Academies, and her most treasured work at the Lorena Ochoa Foundation. She is enjoying the life she has built with her husband and three children.

We can’t wait to hear from Lorena Ochoa at RootsTech Connect, 25–27 February 2021. She recently told us, “Knowing your past is very important to understanding who you are. The work that FamilySearch RootsTech Connect does is incredible. I know more about my story than I would have ever imagined.”

Have you registered for RootsTech Connect 2021? If not, register today for free!

RootsTech 2021 Keynote Speakers

RootsTech Connect 2021 Presents Sharon Leslie Morgan

Thu, 11/12/2020 - 01:00

Imagine taking a road trip to the land of your ancestors accompanied by a living descendant of the slave traders of your former enslaved ancestors. Your purpose? To see if you can resolve generations of wounds and find healing.

Sharon Leslie Morgan, a renowned writer, genealogist, and innovator in multicultural marketing and communications will be a keynote speaker for RootsTech Connect 2021, a free global online event celebrating families.

Sharon’s fascinating personal story, a lifetime promoting African American family history, and exceptional insight into STAR (Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience) promise relevant and timely skills for addressing racial conflict in society today. Gaining new understanding from Sharon promises to be a stand-out event at RootsTech Connect 2021.

If you haven’t signed up for RootsTech Connect yet, be sure to check it out! It will be a convention like no other.

Register for RootsTech Connect Who Is Sharon Leslie Morgan?

A native of Chicago, Sharon has traveled extensively; she has lived in South Africa, Jamaica, and Paris. She has created businesses, worked as a marketing consultant, and forged relationships in the genealogical community. Sharon is also a partner in FamilySearch’s Reclaiming Our African Roots project.

African American genealogy has always been Sharon’s passion. She’s the founder of OurBlackAncestry (OBA), an online community dedicated to providing resources for African American genealogical research and is a contributor to numerous blogs, websites, and publications.

Her accolades are many, including the James Dent Walker Award, the highest award of AAHGS (Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society), in 2019 for “outstanding accomplishments in research, documentation, and preservation of African American history.”

Currently, Sharon resides in Mississippi, not far from the place where her enslaved ancestors lived. The decision to move to her ancestral home has given her an opportunity to explore more of her roots and to begin writing her own history with a fresh perspective.

Using Genealogy to Heal

Sharon is the coauthor of a book titled Gather at the Table: The Healing Journey of a Daughter of Slavery and a Son of the Slave Trade. The book contrasts her history as a descendant of the enslaved, with that of Thomas Norman DeWolf, a descendant of one of the most prominent slave trading dynasties of the past.

Together, Sharon and Thomas journeyed through 27 states. They visited courthouses, cemeteries, monuments, and plantations where enslaved Africans were brokered, lived, and endured unspeakable hardships. The pair followed the slave trail all the way back to the west coast of Ghana, a prominent entry point for thousands of captives bound for the New World. The resulting book presents a model for steps to reconciliation and healing for wounds past and present.

Sharon Morgan at RootsTech Connect 2021

Don’t forget to sign up for RootsTech Connect 2021. You’ll want to catch Sharon Morgan’s livestream and as many short sessions as you can of this 3-day virtual conference. Take advantage of this free, virtual opportunity to celebrate your family story.

RootsTech 2021 Keynote Speakers

Nick Vujicic at RootsTech Connect 2021

Thu, 11/12/2020 - 01:00

RootsTech Connect 2021 is just around the corner, and this year’s speakers are ramping up to make the conference memorable for all who attend. Nick Vujicic, a world-renowned motivational speaker and best-selling author, is joining the roster to deliver a keynote address—and you won’t want to miss it.

To join in the action, register for RootsTech Connect to gain access to Nick’s address as well as all other speakers and 150 classes.

Register for RootsTech Connect

Who Is Nick Vujicic?

Nick Vujicic is an Australian-born man who was born with no arms or legs, a birth defect known as tetra-amelia syndrome. As a child in the ’80s and ’90s, Nick faced challenges such as bullying and loneliness, leading to depression and a suicide attempt at the young age of 10.

Despite his obstacles, Nick persevered and developed a sense of hope, which enabled him to find his purpose in life: encouraging other people to overcome their trials. As he puts it, “When you don’t get a miracle, you can be a miracle for someone else.”

What Does Nick Vujicic Do?

Nick Vujicic has certainly been that miracle for people in need globally. At 19 years of age, Nick started pursuing his dream of changing the world by dedicating his adult life to lifting others and delivering messages of hope. Since then, he has addressed people all over the world, starred in a short film titled The Butterfly Circus, and published five books.

As a motivational speaker and best-selling author, Nick has reached millions and touched their hearts. His story has inspired and uplifted everywhere.

Nick is also the founder and CEO of Attitude Is Altitude, social and emotional learning curricula for children, and Life without Limbs, an outreach program to spread the message of Christ.

Where Is Nick Vujicic Now?

Today, Nick lives in California with his wife of eight years, Kanae. Together, they have four beautiful children—two sons (Kiyoshi and Dejan) and twin daughters (Ellie and Olivia). Nick spends most of his time at home with his family or on the road for his career, having traveled to over 65 countries and addressed more than 6.5 million people live. As he describes it, his life as a loving father and an inspirational speaker is “ridiculously good.”

Don’t Miss Nick at RootsTech Connect 2021

This year at RootsTech, you’ll have the chance to hear from Nick as one of this year’s keynote speakers. Registration is free and includes access to all speakers, classes, and additional resources. Plus, you’ll be able to watch videos online through RootsTech.org for the next year.

Register for RootsTech Connect RootsTech 2021 Keynote Speakers

RootsTech 2021 Presents Francesco Lotoro

Thu, 11/12/2020 - 01:00

The free RootsTech Connect 2021 online convention—as always—promises an inspiring selection of keynote speakers, not the least of which is Francesco Lotoro.

RootsTech Connect takes place on 25–27 February 2021. Have you registered? If not, sign up for free!

Register for RootsTech Connect 2021 Who Is Francesco Lotoro?

In a word, Francesco is a musician.

Francesco was born in Barletta, Italy, a coastal city right at the top of the “heel of the boot.” His music career is extensive. He plays the piano, composes, conducts, and teaches piano at the Umberto Giordano Music Conservatory in Foggia. With all that, he continues to study at the Franz Liszt Music Academy in Budapest. He has worked to perfect his skills by studying with the talented likes of Viktor Merzhanov, Tamas Vasary, and Aldo Ciccolini.

But it doesn’t stop there. Francesco has composed multiple noteworthy opera and orchestra pieces, including a transcription of two Johann Sebastian Bach compositions. He has authored several volumes of musicology and even founded a symphony, called the Musica Judaica Orchestra.

What Does Francesco Lotoro Do?

Besides endless hours in this other work, Francesco has been working on something most musicians—in fact, most anyone—wouldn’t think of. He has been recovering and reviving music written in concentration camps during the Holocaust. Not only does he recover this music, but he also performs, records, revises, and archives it for future generations.

These compositions were often written by those directly in the camps who were experiencing extreme deprivation. Victims of different extermination, civil, and military imprisonment camps penned these rare works in the years between 1933 and 1953. A few of the original composers are still alive today, but many of the creative compositions were found in the possession of descendants who didn’t realize the meaning or history behind these musical compositions that had been passed down to them.

Francesco’s efforts have resulted in the recovery of over 8,000 musical scores over the last 30 years—and he says he has at least 10,000 more forthcoming. To organize these musical scores, Francesco has begun work on an encyclopedia dedicated to this music and its composers, the Encyclopaedia Thesaurus Musicae Concentrantionariae. He is currently raising funds to build a museum and theater dedicated to this music and its history.

Why RootsTech?

Those who love family history know that it’s not the lists of names and dates that make family history exciting. It’s the stories. It’s the heart and the emotion that make us feel at one with our ancestors. It’s the personal connection that keeps us up late at night digging through dusty old boxes and scrolling through online archives.

Music is one of humanity’s deepest ways of expressing this meaning and connection. The composers of this music likely turned to this creative outlet because there were simply no words for the horrors they experienced. Francesco and others like him are recording a vital part of the story of the human family that will open life-changing doors when it comes to understanding these individuals and this tragic time in history.

You won’t want to miss this keynote speaker! Register now for the online RootsTech 2021.

RootsTech 2021 Keynote Speakers