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Traditional English Dishes and the History of English Food

Fri, 02/21/2020 - 19:00

“I still think it’s essential for a parent to cook with their children. Weighing out the ingredients and learning where the food comes from is educational, but it also helps to place meal times at the heart of family life.”        

Mary Berry

Mary Berry, previously a judge of the popular Great British Bake Off, hit the nail on the head. Mealtimes are significant times for the family to come together. Memories of specific foods, family meals, and recipes are often intertwined with memories of gathering and family. 

Even beyond your immediate memories, your food heritage tells a story of your ancestors. The meals your parents cooked may have been passed down for generations.

Share your family recipes with your relatives. Or try making some of the English recipes below to find out how your ancestors enjoyed their food.

Record Your Family’s Recipes 11 Traditional English Dishes 

These traditional dishes are characteristic of English food. While known for hearty dishes of stews and meats, people in England enjoy a variety of foods.

Yorkshire Pudding

This light and airy bread is a true staple in English cuisine. The trick is to get the mixture to puff up just right in the oven.

Try the recipe.

Fish and Chips

This classic combination of breaded fish and fried potatoes has been made popular around the world, but it originated in England.

Try the recipe.

English Pancakes

English pancakes are a thin pancake comparable to the French crêpe. They are traditionally rolled up and eaten with sugar and lemon.

Try the recipe.

Shepherd’s Pie

Made with lamb and topped with mashed potatoes, shepherd’s pie is a hearty dish that is popular throughout the United Kingdom.

Try the recipe.

Black Pudding

Black pudding is actually a sausage made with onion, pork fat, oatmeal, and congealed blood. Don’t think too hard about how it’s made, because it is delicious.

Try the recipe.

Trifle

A traditional English trifle has layers of fruit, cream, and cake to make an eye-catching dessert.

Try the recipe.

Full English Breakfast

This dish is aptly named the “full English breakfast.” Enjoy a full platter for the most important meal of the day, with bacon, sausage, eggs, beans, toast, mushrooms, and tomatoes.

Try the recipe.

Toad in the Hole

Yorkshire pudding is made all the tastier by adding sausages to the batter and serving it with gravy. The name apparently comes from the way the sausages poke out of the batter like a toad poking its head out of a hole.

Try the recipe.

Steak and Kidney Pie

Steak and kidney pie is a known British comfort food. It is a traditional pastry crust filled with kidney, chunks of steak, and gravy.

Try the recipe.

Scotch Egg

In this dish, a hard-boiled egg is traditionally wrapped in sausage and coated in breadcrumbs before being cooked.

Try the recipe.

Lancashire Hot Pot

Lancashire hot pot is a casserole of meat and vegetables topped with sliced potatoes.

Try the recipe.

What Influenced Traditional British Cooking?

Traditional English food has a rich history, with influences from around the world. Groups such as the Romans, Saxons, and Vikings colonized England at different times. Each added new tastes or skills to England’s culinary traditions. 

When the Romans conquered England, they brought with them modern staples. Cherries, cabbages, peas, and wine were all new to England thanks to the Romans. 

The Saxons, a Germanic tribe, were skilled farmers. They grew a variety of herbs, which added flavor to existing dishes.

The Vikings unsurprisingly introduced the tradition of smoking meats. Smoked fish quickly became a staple in Great Britain.

Aside from these three main groups, England’s food has influences from around the world, thanks to trade. Foreign spices particularly have had a huge impact on English flavors and cuisines; widely used spices include ginger, cinnamon, pepper, and vanilla. England’s flavor profile as it is known today results from a world of resources.

History and Heritage of Northern Ireland Food

Wed, 02/19/2020 - 19:00
What’s for Dinner in Northern Ireland?

Northern Ireland cuisine involves much more than potatoes. The Northern Irish heritage is full of delicious and traditional recipes that have been passed down for more than a century. Cheeses, venison, seafood, special butters, and delicious breads are just a few of the foods known there.

Northern Ireland Food History

Farming families helped set many of the food traditions in Northern Ireland. Staples of bread and potatoes were a go-to, especially during lean years in Northern Ireland’s history. Because of their Irish and British roots, people from Northern Ireland have food traditions from both regions to draw on.

In the early 20th century, there wasn’t a huge variety of ingredients to choose from or many newcomers to the area, which limited the diversity of food choices. People got creative with what they had—the Irish created a variety of recipes for both potatoes and breads. With increased immigration in recent decades, Northern Ireland’s palate has broadened significantly.

Ulster Fry—One of Northern Ireland’s Best-Known Dishes

The Ulster fry is one of Northern Ireland’s best-known dishes, and many other recipes spring from it. It is a traditional English breakfast, elevated several notches. Ulster fry often includes bacon, sausage, and eggs—that is the English part. To get the Northern Irish part, add white and black pudding, soda bread (often called soda farl), and potato bread (often called potato farl). The key to this breakfast dish is that everything is fried in some way. For many, the best part of the Ulster fry is the bread—specifically the soda bread.

Soda Bread or Soda Farl

Fried breads are considered a delectable treat in Northern Ireland and throughout the world. Soda bread is most common in Northern Ireland. It is often called a soda farl, which is short for “fardel.” A fardel is a quarter; soda farl has this name because its dough is cut into four pieces before it is fried. It can be a described as a “soft little pillow of a loaf.” The best way to eat soda bread is hot from the pan, with savory dishes such as sausage and eggs. It also tastes delicious with generous helpings of fresh butter and jam. Soda bread is cooked in a dry skillet and can be put together easily, which is why it became so popular—it is easily prepared for guests who drop by. This easy soda bread recipe from allrecipes.com can help you try it yourself!

Other Delectable Northern Irish Dishes

Potatoes are abundant in Northern Ireland; they are grown in all colors and sizes. Unsurprisingly, there are many recipes for a variety of potato dishes. The champ recipe is popular and consists of mashed potatoes mixed with butter, scallions, milk, salt, and pepper.  The Comber potato is also popular and unique to Northern Ireland. With its world-class nutty flavor, it is grown in and around the town of Comber, County Down. Potato bread is also popular—it combines potatoes with a traditional bread recipe for a tasty result.

And of course, we can’t forget Irish stew. This dish can be found in both Ireland and Northern Ireland. It calls for all the traditional ingredients in stew—carrots, onions, and potatoes—but rather than beef, lamb or mince is used in the stew.

Do You Have Northern Irish Family Recipes?

If you have family recipes hiding around, posting them on FamilySearch.org is a great idea. That way, those recipes can be passed down through generations to be enjoyed and remembered. Talking about your family history while eating delectable food from the land of your heritage is a memory-maker in and of itself!

Save your Family Recipes

Family History Library 2019 Highlights and What’s Ahead for 2020

Wed, 02/19/2020 - 16:37

The Family History Library in Salt Lake City is the largest library of its kind, attracting visitors from all over the world who want to learn about their ancestors.  

The library was a hub of activity during 2019, and 2020 will be no different. Below, we look back on major events and achievements of 2019 and take a look at what is ahead for the library in 2020.

Library Activities 125th Anniversary of the Family History Library

2019: FamilySearch kicked-off a year-long celebration of its 125th anniversary on November 13, 2019, commemorating its founding in 1894 as the Genealogical Society of Utah.

2020: The 125th anniversary celebration will continue through 2020, with the library offering a wide range of activities to remember the past and honor those who made today’s library possible.

DNA Day

2019: DNA Day at the Family History Library was on April 25, World DNA Day. Participants learned about using DNA for family history research, got answers to their DNA questions at the Open Lab, and participated in activities at the library. Recorded webinars and handouts are available free online.

2020: Be on the lookout for DNA Day in 2020, when the library will again offer activities and classes.

Block Party

2019:  In June, families and visitors flocked to the fifth annual Family History Library block party. The event included a rock-climbing wall, a scavenger hunt in the library, and musical entertainment featuring several cultural heritages. Relative Race cars, pioneer games, dress-ups, and handcarts provided photo opportunities.

2020: Enjoy fun family activities at the sixth annual block party on June 13, 2020.  

Christmas

2019: Library visitors who came between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve last year enjoyed inspiring Christmas videos, music and performances, a Christmas around the World scavenger hunt, Christmas Bingo, coloring pages, and family photo shoots.

2020:  Gather at the library for free activities during the 2020 holidays.

Cultural Activities Chinese Workshop

2019:  On May 10, 1869, a ceremonial Golden Spike was driven at Promontory Point, Utah, signifying the completion of the first Transcontinental Railroad. In conjunction with the sesquicentennial celebration, the Family History Library held a Chinese Research Day honoring thousands of Chinese immigrants who sacrificed and labored to make the railroad a reality.

Day of the Dead

2019: The library celebrated the Day of the Dead. Visitors enjoyed watching Disney’s Coco and trying samplings of pan dulce and pan de muerto.

2020 Cultural Celebrations: The library will feature displays, photo opportunities, and commemorative activities each month. These displays and activities will celebrate different themes based on the month.

For example, in February, the library will celebrate both the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower landing and African American history. From February 15 to 26, a replica of the Mayflower will be on display on the main floor of the library; then it will be moved to the Expo Hall on February 26 during RootsTech.

For information about other cultural celebrations, follow the Family History Library Facebook page.

Expanding Collections

2019: In 2019, the Family History library book collection expanded by more than 16,500 genealogically significant books. The process of cataloguing and shelving them is underway.

 2020: As book processing continues, collections will be shifted to make room to shelve the new books. The library will likely purchase and process as many books this year as last.

Research Assistance

2019: The Family History Library providedweekly classes and webinars on researching records from the United States, Europe, Latin America, Asia, and other major regions. Recordings of past webinars and accompanying handouts are available online and are listed by topic or instructor.

2020: Upcoming webinars for 2020 include a variety of topics, everything from researching specific country records to reading old handwriting to Family Tree instruction.

Remodeling

2019: Library reference areas have been remodeled to increase computer and records access and help options. Some computer stations have two or three monitors so patrons can examine and compare records.

2020: The project will expand to more floors, and phase two will begin in 2020.

New Library Hours

2019: The library expanded its hours to better meet patrons’ schedules by staying open Monday through Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. The main floor, which includes the discovery experiences, is now open on Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.

RootsTech

2019: Family History Library volunteers worked diligently in the background to make RootsTech 2019 a success, and experts from the Family History Library were among the presenters.  Webinar sessions are available online from last year.

2020: During RootsTech 2020, employees and volunteers will again share their expertise in the Salt Palace and at the Family History Library. The library’s chief genealogical officers will host special VIP events for RootsTech 2020 in February.

Library Genealogical Team

2019: The FamilySearch Chief Genealogical Office, in conjunction with the BYU Family History program, has instituted a new credit-based family history internship program for family history students from BYU and affiliated universities

2020: Internships will continue throughout the year. As part of the experience, interns will receive guided support for accreditation with the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists (ICAPGen) or certification with the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG).

This year, the library will also welcome more half-time genealogical officers. These new team members will help provide more focus on specific areas of the world, such as Latin America and Asia.

For continued updates on Family History Library events and other announcements, be sure to follow the Family History Library Facebook page.

Explore Historical Images Tool Unlocks Data in Digital Records

Tue, 02/18/2020 - 13:17

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?

If you haven’t found your ancestors by using the main search form on FamilySearch.org, it may be that their information is locked inside a waiting-to-be-indexed digital image. In 2018 alone, FamilySearch added over 432 million new record images to its online collections. But it can take years to catalog and index these images so they can be readily searched.

Fortunately, the tools for finding the record image you need online are improving dramatically. 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.

An Image-Centered Search Experience

Explore Historical Images marks the beginning of a new and different search experience. With this tool, images produced from FamilySearch’s 300+ digital cameras worldwide is made almost instantly available.

Explore Historical Images helps you navigate to images of historical records that could contain information about your ancestors. Although you aren’t able to search for your ancestor by name directly, you are able to narrow your search by place, date, and other information that was captured when the image was taken.

To try out the tool, head over to FamilySearch.org, and click Search and then Images in the main menu. Then follow these steps:

1. Search for Records from a Specific Place

Start by typing in a significant place for your ancestor (for example, where the person was born, wed, or buried).

To narrow your search, you can also add a date (or date range), life event, and other fields (using the advanced search). Then click Search Image Groups.

Tip: As you are typing, click the suggestions for standardized dates and locations for more accurate results.

2. Pick a Record Collection to Browse

Explore Historical Images searches the basic information that was captured for billions of image-only records and gives you a list of relevant record collections.

For example, a search for “Delta, Millard, Utah” for the year 1994, I found collections of obituaries from the period 1933–2014. These images haven’t been indexed yet, but I can browse them to find my ancestor.

Which Collection Do I Choose?

Explore Historical Images shows you the relevant record collections it finds. To learn what is in each collection, look at the basic information that was gathered when the images were taken.

Different columns may show you the place, type of record, dates, and volume information for the collection. You may find collections with vital records (birth, marriage, and death records), church records, civil records, military records, population counts, and more.

Tip: To toggle columns on and off, click the Show button in the top right.

In our example, the obituaries from Delta, Utah, show volumes that are separated alphabetically. Because of this structure, the correct record set was easy to find.

Tip: If you have too many results or too few, use the left side bar to narrow and broaden your search. Add or take away dates, use the map to see nearby locations, and click on location links to widen or narrow the area you are searching. Then click Update.

Sometimes record collections in your results may appear to be the same at first, but you’ll find as you explore them that each one is unique. Even if the basic information isn’t very descriptive, don’t be afraid to click a result to see what it contains!

3. Browse Record Images

Once you pick an image collection, a browsing window shows you thumbnails of each image. Looking at these thumbnails, you may see indexes, section markers, or title pages that can help you learn more about what is in the record set.

In our obituaries example, the index at the beginning was organized by last name and showed the exact page that showed my ancestor’s record.

Explore Historical Images lets you zoom in on each image and flip through images quickly. Using the image number box, you can skip through the images by any number to become familiar with how the records are organized. You can also use the arrow buttons to scan each image for your ancestor’s name.

Note: At first, the number of records that Explore Historical Images gives you to sort through may seem large. This feature will be refined over time to reduce the number of records you may need to browse if your ancestors are in the image-only collections.

4. Attach Relevant Records

When you find a record image that is relevant for your ancestor, use the blue Attach to Family Tree button in the upper right to attach it to your ancestor’s profile in Family Tree.

As you add this source to your relative’s profile, you can also note important information on the image so you and others can read it more easily.

Explore Historical Images can help you discover new information about your ancestors that might not be made searchable online for years to come. If you haven’t been able to find needed records by doing text-based searches, try out the new Explore Historical Images tool. It may be that the record you need was only recently made available, and Explore Historical Images can help you find it.

Top 9 Living History Museums in the United States

Tue, 02/18/2020 - 13:00

The best living history museums in the United States immerse visitors in the everyday life experiences of people from the past. Visit these top destinations, and step back in time.

A living history museum is no ordinary museum. They bring the past alive by recreating the sights, sounds, aromas, and even tastes of the past. The experience is akin to stepping onto a movie set or traveling back in time.

Across the United States and beyond, living history attractions such as the ones listed below open windows into local history and cultures spanning more than 500 years. Choose one near you, or travel to one that celebrates your family’s culture or speaks to your interests.

Search Your Surname to Discover Your Heritage Cherokee Heritage Center, Tahlequah, Oklahoma

The Cherokee Heritage Center transports guests into the everyday life of Diligwa, a 1710 Cherokee village.

This indoor and outdoor experience features nearly 20 wattle and daub structures set in a detailed historical landscape, with a primary council house, a summer and winter house, a corn crib, and more. Alongside is a museum that preserves the genealogy of the Cherokee people and tells the powerful story of the Trail of Tears.

Colonial Williamsburg, Williamsburg, Virginia

Colonial Williamsburg creates an entire British colonial city from the 1700s.

Stroll historical avenues—or travel them in a horse-drawn carriage. Talk with staff who portray various historical figures, and ask the master tradespeople and apprentices about their handiwork. Feel the political tensions of the time as they are reenacted at the governor’s mansion. You can even enjoy dining on a colonial-era menu and spend the night in a canopied bed.

Conner Prairie, Fishers, Indiana

A family-friendly destination, the living history museum Conner Prairie is all hands-on history!

Derek Jensen, creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/, minor edits

At a recreated Lenape camp, enter a wigwam, throw a tomahawk, and learn about fur trading. An 1836 Prairietown neighborhood bustles with hardworking artisans, settlers, and heritage varieties of livestock. Visit an Indiana town from 1863, where smoke still rises from a Civil War raid. Gather supplies for the wounded, or join military drills. Feeling brave? Lift off the ground in an 1859 helium balloon.

Frontier Culture Museum, Staunton, Virginia

The Frontier Culture Museum recreates the Old World and New World environments of people who migrated to colonial Virginia.

Woody Hibbard, creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/, minor edits

Visit reimagined immigrant homelands of England in the 1600s, as well as Ireland, Germany, and West Africa in the 1700s. Explore reconstructions of Native American dwellings in the 1700s and European settlements from the 1740s, 1820s, and 1850s. Highlights include an Irish forge, an early frontier schoolhouse, and a log church.

Genesee Country Village and Museum, Mumford, New York

The Genesee Country Village and Museum brings together 68 buildings, heirloom gardens, and fields of livestock to recreate a working historical community. Visitors progress through three distinct eras: early settlement (1790–1820), the village (1830–1860), and the city (1860–1900).

Daniel Penfield, creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/, minor edits

Explore homes and businesses tended by costumed interpreters, try your hand at historic games and crafts, or watch artisans at work. Come during the summer to witness 19th-century vintage baseball games in the replica 19th-century stadium.

Greenfield Village, Dearborn, Michigan

The open-air Greenfield Village celebrates historical American ingenuity and perseverance on its 80-acre campus.

Witness common tasks on a 19th-century working farm or in the Liberty Craftworks, where you’ll find several kinds of mills, a machine shop, printing office, and more. Peek into the workshops of Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and the Wright brothers, and see how lives changed as technologies changed. A favorite thing to do here is to take a ride in a restored Model T car!

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Cincinnati, Ohio

At the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, immerse yourself in the experiences of enslaved African Americans, refugees from slavery, and those who acted against slavery.

Rdikeman, creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/, minor edits

Engage with storytelling and hands-on activities that recount the experiences of those who resisted slavery during the mid-1800s. Immerse yourself in stories you see recreated on film in an experiential theater. Peer into an actual slave pen used to imprison enslaved people in the early 1800s. 

Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth, Massachusetts

The 17th century comes alive at Plimoth Plantation, where visitors witness interactions between two cultures: the native Wampanoag people and English immigrants who were trying to establish a coastal settlement.

Nancy, creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/, minor edits

See the reconstructed Mayflower II ship docked on the waterfront. Visit with Native guides—some descending from those early residents—at a Wampanoag home site. Or visit others in the English village who play the roles of Plymouth colony residents. Try old tools and artisanal techniques in the Craft Center, explore the working gristmill, or see historical livestock breeds.

Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park, St. Augustine, Florida

Fountain of Youth is a living history museum that commemorates the history of the oldest successful European settlement in the continental United States.

Ebyabe, creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/, minor edits

Visit a painstakingly reconstructed Timucuan village, and learn about those who lived here when Spanish explorers arrived in the 1500s. Step into the Franciscan mission building, modeled after the 1587 original from local materials. Stand in the shade of the Spanish watchtower, listen to the roar of a cannon firing, see antique firearm demonstrations, and watch a blacksmith creating Spanish colonial-style iron goods.

Ready to learn how your own family history fits into these fascinating stories from the past? Discover what your heritage is by searching your surname. Or, if you already know your heritage, learn more about it using FamilySearch’s country pages.

Heritage Travel: Everything You Need to Know Best Living History Museums in the World

This Is Family History

Tue, 02/18/2020 - 11:54

The life you live each day is the heart of family history. This colorful video shows what family history is really about: your family’s story, preserved for future generations.

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All about Alok | Alok Petrillo Discovers His Family, and You Can Too

Fri, 02/14/2020 - 11:30

Read all about DJ Alok and his journey to discover his Italian roots—then learn how to connect to your own heritage.

Well-known in Brazil for his work as a DJ and record producer, Alok Petrillo has been nominated as the best Brazilian DJ and the 11th best DJ worldwide. If you’ve heard of Alok, you might also know something about his family—his twin brother and original music partner, Bhaskar, or his parents (also DJs), who raised him with a love of music. But have you heard about Alok’s journey to discover his Italian roots?

Alok’s Family History Journey

Alok was born in the heart of Brazil, in Goiânia, Goiás. Although he has lived in Brazil for most of his life (currently in São Paulo), his great-grandfather is Italian. Like many Brazilians, Alok’s father felt a strong connection to his Italian roots and started the process of applying for Italian citizenship.

Italian descendants can claim citizenship by proving their connection to an Italian ancestor, but the process is not easy. With help, Alok’s family found birth and death certificates for several ancestors, piecing together the story of their family’s journey to Brazil and their life in Italy. Many years later, Alok’s father gained his Italian citizenship, but more importantly, his zeal for his Italian heritage inspired Alok to begin his own family history journey.

Alok holding a family record from Italy.

Having a desire to attain citizenship himself and learn more about his Italian great-grandfather, Domenico, Alok determined that he would not only apply for citizenship, but travel to his ancestral hometown—where his great-grandfather once lived.

While visiting San Giovanni a Piro, Italy, Alok was able to actually see the house his great-grandfather grew up in. Alok felt inspired by the story of Domenico’s journey to Brazil and his separation from his brother after arriving in their new country. Alok’s Italian ancestors first arrived in São Paulo, Brazil. After a time, they moved to Minas Gerais and then to Goiás, where Alok was born.

After experiencing Italian culture first-hand, Alok also expressed great appreciation for Italian music. To cap off his journey in Italy with a spectacular event, Alok met with the mayor of San Giovanni a Piro, who granted him honorary citizenship.

Alok sitting at the mayor’s desk in San Giovanni a Piro, Italy, after receiving honorary citizenship. Learning about Surnames

Alok inherited the last name Petrillo from his Italian ancestors. If you look at Alok’s full name, however, you will see that it truly reflects all his strongest heritages: Alok Achkar Peres Petrillo. Peres, his maternal last name, is Portuguese, while Achkar is of Lebanese origin. When Alok looked up his surnames on FamilySearch.org, he discovered some fun new things!

Names hold lots of clues to your family’s cultural heritage and can be an important part of your family’s story. Do you know if your last name is Portuguese, Italian, Japanese, or German, or of another origin? Find out in a matter of minutes—for free!

Learn about Your Last Name Going Back to Your Roots

Learn more about your own heritage on the free site, FamilySearch.org. Here you can find out more about your ancestors and their homelands, start building your family tree, and even learn how to obtain dual citizenship.

Your Brazilian Family Heritage Your Italian Family Heritage Other Free Ways FamilySearch Can Help You

FamilySearch is passionate about connecting every person with family. Here are some ways we can help you, no matter how much you already know about your family.

Join a FamilySearch Community

You don’t have to go on the search for your family alone. Get answers to your family history questions, and find helpful resources in these places:

Note: Messages in these community groups may be in different languages, but the group members may be able to help you in your native language.

Free Help from the Experts

Lost or confused about where your family comes from? Get expert help from these places:

  • Help Center
  • Family History Centers Near You
    • These family history centers offer in-person help with family history (for free!). For the best experience, please call ahead to confirm center hours and to make an appointment.
Create a Free Account to Connect to Your Family

Have you made any discoveries about your family? Create a FamilySearch account so we can continue to send you fun experiences. Click the button below, and be sure to validate your email account so we can keep in touch. Remember, it’s free!

Create a Free FamilySearch Account

Connect to Your Ancestors with Traditional Finnish Food

Thu, 02/13/2020 - 19:54

If you have Finnish heritage, a fun way to understand Finnish culture is to cook some foods from your homeland.

Cuisine from Finland is what many consider to be comfort food—casual, simple, and delicious. Traditional Finnish food features a broad range of ingredients, from fish and meat to mushroom and berries. Ever tried reindeer? In Finland, it is a meat staple. A variety of rye breads and the use of rye flour are also popular and delicious.

Traditional Finnish Foods—Breads

It is not uncommon to see street markets in Finland overflowing with produce and even meats particular to the season. Finns are passionate about their food and like to keep it traditional. Karjalan piirakke (Karelain pie) is a well-known and well-loved Finnish food. It is a pie of sorts made with rye flour and stuffed with potatoes, rice, or carrots. People also enjoy topping it with an egg butter spread.

Kalakukko is similar to Karjalan piirakke, but it is stuffed with herring fish—another popular food in Finland. Another common way to eat herring is sliced and put on rye bread. But no Finnish bread recipe collection is complete without ruisleipa! This dense bread is a true Finnish treat. Make it yourself, and experience what Finnish food is like in your own home.

Finnish Meats and Cheeses

Some of the most unique parts of Finnish food culture come through meats. Reindeer and herring are unique staples. Finnish lihakaalilaatikko, or meat and cabbage casserole, is a popular dish that is easily made at home. Finnish squeaky cheese is a delicacy loved by the people of Finland and is best served with lingonberry or your favorite jam. Salmon is served in many ways in Finland, but salmon pie is one of the most common.

Traditional Finnish Desserts

Desserts, like Finnish breads, are popular and well-loved in Finland. Finnish pancakes are used mostly for dessert rather than for breakfast. Mustikkapiirakka, or Finnish blueberry pie, is popular because of the abundance of blueberries in Finland and also because it is delicious. Lingonberry jams can be used with desserts or with meatballs or other meats. Whatever you use it for, it is a delicious treat to have on hand.

Try These Finnish Foods at Home

Don’t hesitate to create some of these delectable treats at home! When you do, share your experience and some photos in the Memories section of FamilySearch.org. You can also use the FamilySearch Memories app. That way, other members of your family can enjoy the recipes and try them too!

Your Finnish Heritage

Finding German World War II Service Records

Thu, 02/13/2020 - 10:50

The World War II service records of German soldiers can be of great genealogical value. However, getting access to German army WWII service records may be difficult because many of them were destroyed during times of war.

Locating records that have information about a German soldier may be tricky—but not necessarily impossible. Below are some of the ways you can find out more about your German ancestor’s military service in World War II.

Start at Home

The first place to start finding records and information about your ancestor is right at home. Ask relatives what they know about members of the family who served in the war. Try to identify what branch of military service a person was in and where the individual lived.

Obituaries, photographs, letters, and other records of military service that are often found at home can start you on the right track to learning more about your ancestor’s military service.

Search for the Grave

If the soldier died in battle, consider searching the Volksbund war graves website. Using this site, you may be able to discover when and where the soldier died and where the remains were buried.

Keep in mind that the information you may find will likely not include details of the person’s military career, such as what troop the individual was part of.

Contact the German Federal Archive

The German Federal Archive, known in German as Bundesarchiv, may hold key information about the German soldier you are researching. To access information from this archive, you will need to fill out two forms: the Benutzungsantrag (here is an English version for reference) and the form Order for Person-Related Research. Then fax or mail the forms to the Personal Information Department. Keep in mind that you may need to pay a fee to access the information.

It is important to note the two divisions of the archive and what records each offers.

Personal Information Department

The Personal Information Department (PA) of the Federal Archives is located in Berlin-Reinickendorf. It can provide information about the following:

  • Former members of the army, Reichsmarine, Kriegsmarine, and the Air Force.
  • Wehrmacht civil servants, employees, and workers.
  • Members of the Reichsarbeitsdienst (Imperial Labor Service).
Military Archives Department

The Military Archives department is located in Freiburg and can provide information from service records of military officers and officials, military court records, and documentation of military medals and honors bestowed.

Search Records at the United States National Archives

The National Archives and Records Administration in the United States has a collection of records for the German military. See Record Group 242, titled “Collection of Foreign Records Seized” for more details.

Additionally, prisoner of war records of German servicemen also can be located at the National Archives. Here are just a few:

Although some of these records are available to view online, you may need to visit or contact the National Archives to obtain or view some of the records.

Although finding German army WWII service records will likely be a challenge, it is sure to bring a more complete understanding of your family’s history. If all you know or have about your ancestor is a few stories or a few stray photos, then be sure to upload what you do know to that family member’s memories on FamilySearch.org.

Amie Tennant and Jessica Grimaud contributed to this post.

Fun Facts about Presidents of the United States

Tue, 02/11/2020 - 13:44

Natural curiosity and a little investigating can set you on the road to discovering some fun facts about the past presidents of the United States. Do you know what British newspapers had to say about George Washington? Or what Abraham Lincoln was like as a teenager?

All sorts of information like this can be found in historical records. Records can illuminate the life stories of people in the past in ways that history books often miss. When we take the time to put multiple records together, comparing dates, relationships, and locations, records can reveal how unique all people really are—not just famous past presidents.

Search Records for Free on FamilySearch.org

Click a name, or read on to discover what FamilySearch records can tell you about these famous United States presidents!

President John F. Kennedy

John Fitzgerald Kennedy, or JFK as he was called, grew up in a large and fiercely competitive family. His father encouraged high achievement, expecting success from his children at an early age. John F. Kennedy is shown here with 8 of his siblings in this 1940 United States census record.

Few people probably know that, from childhood, John had chronic health challenges. His bad back is well known, but illness did not detract from John’s active, achieving lifestyle.

Although John did not qualify for the military for health reasons, he earned a commission with a friend’s help and served in the navy during World War II as a lieutenant on a patrol torpedo boat. Once when his boat was rammed while on patrol, he rescued his crew members and then swam over three miles to a nearby island. Grit and determination saved his life that day.

Whether you know a lot or a little about JFK’s assassination, a look at his official death notice is a fascinating opportunity. Kennedy was on a campaign trip to Dallas, Texas, in support of Governor John Connally, when he was shot. The death notice shows the time of the shooting on November 22 (as it was reported), the place of death, and place of injury, as well as a description of the wounds.

Other records of interest:

President Theodore Roosevelt Jr.

Theodore Roosevelt was the youngest president to come into office (at age 42). Although he was from a prominent family and groomed to be a leader, his life was not easy.

A Massachusetts marriage record shows Roosevelt’s first marriage, to Alice Hathaway Lee, in 1880. Their daughter was born four years later, as shown in a New York birth record. They named their child Alice Lee Roosevelt. Two days later, Roosevelt’s wife and his mother both died of different ailments on the same day and in the same house.

With the weight of these deaths, Theodore left state politics for a time and moved out West, working as a sheriff and rancher. This time in his life shaped both Roosevelt’s character and his career as a writer. (See books such as Sheriff’s Work on a Ranch for Roosevelt’s own record of his ranch life.)

By 1900, when Roosevelt was governor of New York, his second marriage to a childhood friend helped him build a family again. A 1900 census record shows Theodore, his wife Edith, his daughter Alice, and 5 other children born from this second marriage.

Other records of interest:

President Ulysses S. Grant

Many of us know Ulysses S. Grant as both a president and the general that led the Union Army in winning the American Civil War. But did you know that General Grant’s birth name was actually Hiram Ulysses Grant? The change to his name is a story worth repeating and has everything to do with records.

When Ulysses was 17, an Ohio congressman made a mistake while nominating Ulysses for an appointment to West Point, the military academy. The congressman erringly used “Ulysses S. Grant” on the future general’s application.

When Ulysses was accepted, the congressman entered Grant’s name on the official register as Cadet U. S. Grant. That name stuck, and Grant’s nickname subsequently became “Sam.” (It was assumed that the U. S. stood for “Uncle Sam.”)

Despite many efforts to correct the record, Grant’s name varies in multiple instances. In the United States census of 1870, Ulysses is shown as “U. S. Grant,” age 48. (Also listed are his wife, Julia, and two of his children.)

Here, in an enlistment register written after his West Point graduation, he is shown as Ulysses S. Grant.

In a record created after his death by the Grand Army of the Republic, a duty station was named after General Grant, and we see the addition of “Simpson” as his middle name.

Such name variations are not uncommon in historical records. When you find the story of a person’s life, the variations make the person all the more interesting.

Other records of interest:

President Abraham Lincoln

A short book in the FamilySearch Catalog called Abe Lincoln in Indiana gives a unique perspective into young Abraham Lincoln’s life as he came of age in Indiana. It was there on the frontier, in a makeshift cabin, that Lincoln’s mother died when he was nine years old.

The record tells us that, as a teenager, Abe perfected his reading, handwriting, and spelling because his childhood education had been minimal. Although young, Lincoln did all the writing for his family and indeed for everybody in the neighborhood.

Reading meant more to Abe than anything else that came from attending school. It opened him up to the world of knowledge found in books. Reading became the obsession of his youth and continued for many years as he grew into manhood and pursued law and politics as careers.

Did you know that Lincoln wrote poetry as well as prose? The following example is excerpted from Abe Lincoln in Indiana.

Find Family Stories in Digital Books

Other records of interest:

President George Washington

General Washington, who led the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, was a national hero before he became president.

In the United States Revolutionary War Rolls, General Washington was referred to as “his Excellency George Washington Esquire, General and Commander in Chief.”  

When Washington finally retired from public life in 1797, he was a healthy man. Little did he know that an untimely death was just two years away.

News of Washington’s passing was published in other countries than the United States. One obituary, published in the Hereford Journal from Herefordshire, England, can be found in the British Newspaper Archives, which is a FamilySearch record collection.

The obituary mentions “the death of that great and good character, General Washington, who died of an inflammation in his throat . . . at his seat at Mount Vernon, in the 68th year of his age after an illness of only 24 hours.”

It goes on to say, “Any [speech] on this truly distinguished character would be superfluous,” and noted that Washington “displayed in his own person the rare combination of talents at once military and pacific, that would do honor to the first General and the first Statesmen of any age or country.”

The article continues in this manner for several more paragraphs.

Could anything be more fitting from a former adversary nation than to mark the passing of so great a statesman and one so loved by his fellow countrymen?

How Much Do You Know about Your Ancestors?

You too can learn interesting things about your family from records on FamilySearch.org. It is not hard to discover details by looking at records and using search tools.

Find Your Ancestors in FamilySearch Records

Don’t have a FamilySearch account yet? Don’t worry, it’s free! If you begin by adding yourself to the Family Tree and then add information you already know about your family, FamilySearch will also start looking for record matches for you using record hints.

You can quickly go from knowing very little to discoveries about generations and relatives who led truly extraordinary lives!

Related Articles… A Beginner’s Guide to Searching Records Why Didn’t People Smile in Old Photos?

Traditional Danish Food: 14 Recipes You Must Try

Fri, 02/07/2020 - 19:00

Danish food is known for meats, rye bread, and fruit-and-cream desserts. If you have ancestors from Denmark, you may be able to gain a bit of insight into their lives through the foods they ate. Better yet, visit Denmark to experience the food and the culture for yourself. 

If you have family recipes passed down from your Danish ancestors, record the recipes on FamilySearch Memories to save them for the future and share them with your relatives.

Record Your Recipes

Traditional food in Denmark is based on what could easily be farmed or gathered during the country’s short summers. Cabbage, root vegetables, meat, fish, and rye bread were all staples. Wild berries are also a favorite in Danish cuisine. Try these recipes to get a taste for Denmark’s native ingredients.

1. Smørrebrød 

If there is one food that Denmark is famous for, it is their open-faced sandwiches. A smørrebrød is typically made with buttered rye bread topped with any combination of meats, cheeses, and garnishes.

Try the recipes.

2. Kartofler

These caramelized potatoes are often used as a side dish for Christmas dinner. At one time, they were eaten only by the wealthy because butter and sugar were costly.

Try the recipe.

3. Stegt flæsk med persillesovs

This dish is known as the “national dish of Denmark.” It is a simple and tasty combination of crispy pork, potatoes, and parsley sauce.

Try the recipe.

4. Risalamande 

This almond rice pudding is typically served after Christmas dinner. To make it, mix rice pudding with whipped cream, chopped almonds, and vanilla. As the final touch, top it off with warm cherry sauce.

Try the recipe.

5. Frikadeller 

This savory pork meatball is a favorite in Denmark. It is often served with brown sauce, potatoes, and cabbage.

Try the recipe.

6. Flæskesteg 

Try this recipe for roast pork. In Denmark, the dish is always made with the crispy pork rind intact.

Try the recipe.

7. Koldskål 

The word Koldskål means “cold bowl.” This dish is traditionally a summer dessert that consists of cold buttermilk soup, biscuits, and fruit.

Try the recipe.

8. Karbonader

These breaded pork patties are a popular dinner item in Danish cuisine. 

Try the recipe.

9. Rødgrød med fløde

This traditional Danish food is a red berry pudding served for dessert with whipped cream. Soak the berries in sugar and water. Then heat the mixture up. Easy as pie!

Try the recipe.

10. Æblekage 

Apple cake isn’t your average cake. Rather, this Danish food is similar to a trifle with layers of stewed apples, caramelized oats, and whipped cream. Some variations are more closely related to a typical cake and are made with a cake base, sliced apples, and spices.

Try the recipe.

11. Tarteletter 

These flaky tartlets are filled with a chicken and asparagus mixture. The flavor may differ somewhat from the original dish because it was traditionally made with hens too old to lay eggs.

Try the recipe.

12. Rugbrød 

Rye bread, or Rugbrød in Danish, is a nutrient-rich bread filled with seeds, grains, and rye. In Denmark, it is the bread most often used for the country’s famous open-faced sandwiches.

Try the recipe.

13. Forloren hare

Danish meatloaf is known as “mock hare,” most likely because it is cooked similarly to game—wrapped in bacon and served with a jelly sauce.

Try the recipe.

14. Pølser 

Pølser is the ultimate street food and is known as a kind of gourmet hot dog. It is made with a red sausage, bun, and various toppings. If you can’t go to Denmark to get one, try making one in your own home. 

Try the recipe.

Exploring your Danish Heritage

Track Your Contributions to the Family Tree with New Feature

Fri, 02/07/2020 - 12:24

At FamilySearch, we unite families. This mission cannot be accomplished alone. It requires the efforts of individual family members sharing their experiences and their knowledge.

That is why we are excited to announce the new My Contributions feature for the Family Tree app! You can now keep track of the individual contributions that you have made to the Family Tree. The new feature is available on both iOS and Android versions of the app. Here’s how it works.

To find the My Contributions feature, open the Family Tree app, and tap the More icon in the bottom right corner (iOS) or the 3-bar menu in the top left corner (Android). This will bring up a menu of options. Tap My Contributions. You will then see three categories—Stats, Changes, and Private Persons.

iOS Android Stats

The Stats tab shows you a bar graph of the total contributions that you have made to the FamilySearch Family Tree over the past eight years.

iOS Android

The stats can be broken down into different types of contributions, such as how many sources you have attached, how many memories you have attached, or how many people you have added to the Tree.

Changes

This tab is where you can view the most recent changes you have made to Family Tree and your family’s records. The list extends to the last 300 changes made, with the most recent changes listed at the top.

iOS Android

For each item, the name of an individual in the Family Tree is listed first. Individual changes to this person’s record are then detailed beneath the person’s name. You can also search this list for a specific person by typing in either a first name, surname, or full name in a search bar at the top of the screen.

Private Persons

Living and confidential people are managed in private spaces on FamilySearch.org. This section gives you a list of living or confidential people in your family tree. These are profiles that only you can see or modify. Tapping a name will bring you to that person’s profile on Family Tree. It is a helpful feature, especially when you want to manage personal information on a shared tree.

iOS Android

Note that you can also search this Private Persons list for a specific person by typing in either a first name, surname, or full name in a search bar at the top of the screen.

Currently, the My Contributions feature is available only on the mobile app, but keep checking back for updates!

We are grateful for the contributions that you have made to Family Tree, and especially for the ways that you contribute to the lives of your family members.

We wish you the best of luck moving forward with your genealogy and hope that this new feature comes in handy!

How Do I Find My Ancestors in Northern Ireland?

Wed, 02/05/2020 - 19:00

Are you tracing your Northern Ireland genealogy? Many resources on FamilySearch.org can help you in your search.

Northern Ireland is one of four major parts of the United Kingdom. (Others include England, Scotland, and Wales.) Its official language is English. Northern Ireland includes the counties of Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry, and Tyrone. The country of Northern Ireland was officially created on 3 May 1921 as part of the settlement between the United Kingdom and what would become the Republic of Ireland.

The island of Ireland has experienced large population movements over the centuries. Settlers from England and particularly from Scotland were settled (or planted) in the Northern Ireland area from the 1600s onwards in what is referred to as the “Ulster Plantations.” Mass emigration from Northern Ireland to England and Scotland and particularly to North America in the 1800s took place due to very difficult economic and social conditions. The Great Famine from 1845 to 1849 resulted in the death of over one million people across the island of Ireland and led to further emigration.

How do you start your Northern Ireland Genealogy Research?

You should know a few facts before you start your search:

  1. Most of the vital records are based on English law from 1864 when civil records began for all of Ireland and especially since 1921, when Northern Ireland was established.
  2. Many important records have been destroyed due to the conflicts in the period from 1919 to 1923. However, many important records still exist.

Sources to Help You Find Your Northern Ireland Ancestors

The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) is great resource for information on what may be available in your search. PRONI has a physical office in Belfast, Northern Ireland, but you can find a lot online as well. PRONI’s online archives have calendars, maps, World War I resources, and images. Many instructional talks can also help you search and tell you what you may find. PRONI tries to collect, catalogue, and preserve documents or sources that provide historical or legal glimpses of the past.

The Northern Irelandgenweb is also a great source. It will direct you to the PRONI site, but it also offers a long list of resources to help with your search—including different genealogy societies in Northern Ireland.

The General Register Office of Northern Ireland (GRONI) holds birth, death, and marriage records. The registers of the records themselves are not open to use, but the information contained on the records can be given in the form of certificates. The office doesn’t do research, but it has useful information to help put your tree together. 

The website IrishGenealogy.ie contains birth, marriage, and death records for all of Ireland from 1864 onwards, including many digital images, with many church records available also.

Local Records in Northern Ireland

Genealogy records in Northern Ireland are often kept on the local level, so local resources might be great places to look. Much of the information is kept by county, so you can dig a bit deeper on a county level. For example, Ulster is one of the historic provinces of Ireland. In it are nine counties—six are now in Northern Ireland, and three are now in the Republic of Ireland. Here are the six Northern Ireland counties of Ulster:

Visit the FamilySearch Northern Ireland wiki page to view a map with the counties listed as well as some sources on individual counties.

Learn about the Culture, Food Traditions, and Landscape of Northern Ireland

An important part of family history and researching ancestors can include discovering the culture, history, food traditions, and landscape of your ancestor’s homeland. Sometimes when you have a better understanding of where your ancestors walked and what their life was like, you discover that you have a great connection to them.

The best place to dig in and start is by looking for your family records on FamilySearch.org. You will find the tools to direct you on the right path. Your search for your Northern Ireland ancestors is just a click away!

David Rencher Receives Rare, Prestigious Genealogy Award

Wed, 02/05/2020 - 15:11

David Rencher, chief genealogical officer (CGO) of FamilySearch and director of the Family History Library, received the prestigious Certificate of Appreciation from the American Society of Genealogists at its annual meeting on November 2, 2019, in Salt Lake City. Rencher received the certificate “in recognition of his vigorous and visionary efforts to serve the aims of scholarly genealogy at the Family History Library and at FamilySearch.”

The society rarely gives the award, bestowing the accolade only on those who make outstanding contributions to the field of genealogy. Rencher is the 18th recipient of this award since the society was incorporated 73 years ago.

Rencher, a diehard advocate for the family researcher, has made a career of promoting the industry. Below, we have highlighted just a few of his significant contributions to the genealogical community.

Family History Library Service

In the last 20 years, Rencher has twice served as director of the Family History Library. He began serving as the director of the Family History Library in 1999, and in 2002, he became the director of the Records and Information Division. In 2008, he became the CGO for FamilySearch. Since 2018, Rencher has assumed both duties.

The Family History Library is respected among genealogists worldwide for its diverse collections of historically important genealogical materials organized for ready access online and in the library. In addition to maintaining the library’s research materials, Rencher oversees some library outreach programs such as webinar classes, putting materials online, and authorizing new affiliate libraries.

Scanning Books

Rencher initiated the book scanning program for the library collection during his first administration as director of the Family History Library. More than 458,500 have been digitally published online to date.  He and his staff are currently working to replace books removed during the digitization and to expand the library collection, which already includes more than 600,000 items. Through his efforts, the library is helping to identify other public libraries to digitally publish historical books of genealogical relevance online.

Increasing Indexing

During his service in the Family History Department, Rencher has also been instrumental in the production of the automated indexes for the Social Security Death Index records, the 1880 United States census, the 1881 British census, and the military casualty files for Korea and Vietnam.

Adapting to a Changing Genealogical Landscape

Changes in research have developed rapidly in recent years, and Rencher works with his staff to meet these changes at the Family History Library.

“The landscape has been completely erased and redrawn [at the library]. It is like night and day literally between now and the ’80s and ’90s. We have collections online I’d never have dreamed would be available in seconds,” Rencher said. “For example, church and vital records. To actually see vital records of deaths and marriages online—we didn’t even conceive of such thoughts when I began 39 years ago.”

The collections at the library continue to expand exponentially as the library adds books, documents, and other artifacts to its archive.

Providing Research Assistance

Rencher and his team work to invite more than just the scholarly community to enter library doors. In the collections on four levels of the library, scholars and amateurs alike pore over books, documents, microfilm, and computer screens to sort out the details of their families’ pasts.

Trained associates are on hand to provide free assistance, and research classes are available at the library and online. At the same time, the main floor is devoted to engaging family history discovery experiences for people of all ages and cultures—inviting them to come inside, participate, get a feel for their ancestry, and capture and preserve memories for posterity. Special event activities throughout the year enhance that goal.

Creating Discovery Experiences

Under Rencher’s direction, the library is now working to grow the interactive discovery experiences on the main floor directed at younger age groups and others unfamiliar with family history research. Additionally, the library hosts special events throughout the year to include all people and cultures.

Working with Staff

To best serve FamilySearch’s and the Family History Library’s joint efforts, Rencher relies on the expertise of his deputy chief genealogical officers and reference specialists, who assist in ensuring the genealogical soundness of the products and services offered by FamilySearch. They serve as ambassadors for FamilySearch to genealogical and historical societies, libraries, and archives to maintain relationships for partnership opportunities.

“They provide an enormous public relations function as representatives of FamilySearch,” Rencher said. “I have an outstanding team to oversee the library, and skilled genealogists and trained volunteers who help visitors find success,” he added.

Involvement in the Genealogical Community

Rencher is a proponent for the continual development of tools to encourage family research across the industry. In that capacity, he reaches out to other genealogical organizations to encourage them to make records more available, broaden enthusiasm for the process, and raise the standard for the outcomes.

As vice president of development for the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS), Rencher helps establish fundraising priorities and goals and oversees fundraising activities in the broader genealogical community, including choosing records to digitize in the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). These efforts augment the work that FamilySearch does and reduce digitization costs to FamilySearch.

Most recently, Rencher supervised raising funds for the multimillion-dollar War of 1812 Preserve the Pensions Project. Through this effort, digitization of these genealogically rich records is nearing completion. About 80 percent of the records are available for free access indefinitely through Fold3.com

Rencher is also the former chair of the FGS Records Access and Preservation Committee (RPAC) and now serves as a committee member representing the FGS. The RPAC is a joint committee made up of representatives from the FGS, the National Genealogical Society (NGS), and the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS).

For Rencher, the objective of family history is to promote family connections. While building the library collections and increasing access, he continues to champion the craft by aiding genealogical societies to make their records more accessible and create meaningful family experiences.

FamilySearch Updates Enhance your Experience

Wed, 02/05/2020 - 13:01

FamilySearch is proud to have the world’s largest online family tree and thrilled to provide free family history experiences to millions. In order to give users the best experience possible, we are constantly working on updates and improvements to our online experience.

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!

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.

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.

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

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.

More Updates from 2019

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

Where Does Frozen Take Place? 9 Ways Norway Inspired Arendelle

Tue, 02/04/2020 - 09:35

Where does Frozen take place? Where is Arendelle ? It’s not too far from reality than you may think.

The world of Frozen is so beautifully enchanting that you might have wondered if a place like that actually exists—or if it’s just some made-up setting to make the Disney magic happen. 

Well, it’s kind of both.

While Frozen takes place in the fictional kingdom Arendelle, the kingdom was based on multiple locations in Norway. The team behind Frozen even visited Norway to gain inspiration, and you can see Nordic influence all throughout the movie. Here are just a few of the connections between Frozen and the very real world of Norway.

1. Arendelle’s Name and Architecture Come from Norway

If you look closely, you will find that Arendelle was stitched together from fragments of Norway. For example, the kingdom was named after Arendal, a port in southern Norway.

The design, however, came from Bergen, a city in Norway’s western fjords. Disney tours in Norway even claim Bergen as the “storybook village” that was the “inspiration for Arendelle, the kingdom and home to Anna and her sister Elsa.” 

Architecture throughout Norway influenced the buildings in Arendelle. Take a look at Heddal Church. Look like Arendelle’s castle? That’s because the design was based on it, with one notable difference—the real-life church is wooden. This architectural style came from the Viking era and is called dragestil, ordragon style.

Fun Fact: In Norwegian, “Arendelle” can be loosely translated as “eagle valley.”

2. Frozen and Norway Share Similar Landscapes and Scenery

The landscapes of Arendelle were heavily influenced by Norway’s western fjords, particularly Nærøyfjord. In the fjords, you will find the same waterways, mountains, and steep cliffs that you see in Frozen. 

The movie also features scenes in the woods, which are representative of the boreal woodlands found in Norway. If you would like to see one for yourself, one of the best preserved examples is Øvre Pasvik National Park.

3. The Music Has Nordic Influences

The opening song immediately tells you that the movie is based on Norway. The song, titled “Vuelie,” was adapted from a song called “Eatnemen Vuelie,” which was written by Frode Fjellheim, a Sami musician. The Sami are the indigenous people of Norway and Sweden, and “Vuelie” contains elements of joik, a traditional Sami singing style.

Later, Elsa’s coronation is accompanied by a song in Old Norse. The piece was also inspired by traditional Sami music.

The orchestral film score brings in even more elements of Nordic music. The bukkehorn and other regional instruments were used to record the music. Kulning—a traditional high-pitched Scandinavian yodeling call—also played a prominent role throughout the soundtrack of the second Frozen movie.

4. Norwegian Art Inspired Frozen’s Spellbinding Design

Rosemåling is a Norwegian art form that literally means “decorative painting.” It is characterized by flowing designs of flowers, scrollwork, lining, geometric shapes, and landscapes.

And you can bet the filmmakers of Frozen used the designs. Almost everything in the movie is decorated, from the fabrics to the walls to Elsa’s ice magic. Basically, if you notice design work or patterns in Frozen, it is likely based on rosemåling.

5. The Fashion in Frozen Is Nordic

The intricate costumes in Frozen can be referred to as bunads, or modern costumes in Norway based on traditional Norwegian clothing. You can see examples in the Norsk Folkmuseum

The Sami still wear a style of clothing like the styles found in Frozen. Traditional garments include the gákti, similar to what you see in the movie. 

Fun Fact: To understand how a dress behaves while walking through snow, the design team filmed themselves walking through snow in dresses—both the men and the women. 

6. Even the Frozen Trolls Are Influenced by Nordic Mythology

Trolls are a big part of Norwegian legends, and as we know, they play a major role in Anna and Elsa’sstory. In old Norse folklore, trolls are magical creatures living in the mountains in family groups. That sounds a lot like the trolls in Frozen, right? Both can also be disguised as rocks. 

One example of trolls in Norway is Trollstigen. It is a dramatic landscape featuring a switchback road where trolls are rumored to come out at night. 

7. Both Norway and Frozen Love Reindeers

You can’t forget Sven, Kristoff’s loveable reindeer. After all, “reindeers are better than people.” Reindeer are a common sight in Norwegian landscapes, and they are perfectly suited for the cold. The Sami people are indigenous to the areas of Norway and Sweden, and they are well known for herding reindeer in the north. 

8. The Story That Inspired Frozen Is Scandinavian

Frozen is loosely based on a story called The Snow Queen. Both stories feature a snow queen, trolls, reindeer, frozen hearts, and snow creatures. However, the source material is an altogether darker story with a demon, a rather unfortunate magic mirror, and robbers. 

The Snow Queen was written by an author responsible for many of today’s fairy tales—Hans Christian Andersen. Because Andersen was a Dane himself, much of his work takes root in Scandinavia. You can even visit Andersen’s home in Denmark

9. You Can Find Norse Runes and Symbols in Frozen

Norse runes and symbols also make subtle appearances in the first and second films. For example, in one of the early scenes of the first movie, the king looks at a book containing Norse runes. The runes can also be seen inscribed on the gravestones for Anna and Elsa’s parents.

The poster for the second movie proved controversial. The 4-point snowflake on the poster would be impossible in real life. However, the design was based on the Norse vegvísir, a compass intended to prevent the wearer from getting lost in a storm, which reflects the themes of the second movie.

Fun fact: The characters Hans, Kristoff, Anna, and Sven were named as a tribute to Hans Christian Andersen, in addition to being normal Scandinavian names.

Now that you know where Anna and Elsa are from, find out where YOU are from. Do you share the same heritage as Anna and Elsa? How has your heritage influenced your story? Find out using FamilySearch.org. 

Find Your Ancestors

New FamilySearch Feature “Unfinished Attachments” Brings New Discoveries to Your Tree

Thu, 01/30/2020 - 14:08

You may have noticed that a new prompt, titled “Unfinished Attachments,” appears with some sources attached to people in your family tree. This prompt appears below these sources along with a description, “This source has not been attached to all people found in the record.”

This new feature can help you find family members who may not be in the Family Tree but who were listed on a record. Once you find that person, it is just a few easy steps to attach the record or add the person to the FamilySearch Family Tree.

Using Unfinished Attachments for Discovery

By simply clicking Unfinished Attachments, you can discover a new world of information. This feature can lead to interesting discoveries to help you make sure you have all your relatives on your tree.

Census records, marriage records, obituaries, and many other kinds of records may have information about people related to your family who were not included when the records were originally attached to your ancestor. You can now find that information using the Unfinished Attachments feature. If a profile for the family member does not yet exist in the FamilySearch Family Tree, you will be guided to create a new profile for him or her. Here is an example.

  • If the person is living, it is important to click Living. This notation keeps the living person’s information private. It will stay in that private space until you add death information.

Many people are listed in records who may have been living with or associated with a family at the time the record was made but who may not have been relatives (such as boarders or house servants). These people may now show up as unfinished attachments. You can discover this interesting information and add it to your family’s story. It may even help others trying to find their ancestors!

The Unfinished Attachments feature does not just lead to information about deceased relatives. It may also help you find information about living family members and add profiles for them to your tree.

Above is a living relative from an obituary who was not added to the tree. Adding the person to the tree led to adding profiles also for his wife and all his children.

Discoveries from Unfinished Attachments

I made a great discovery when I found a census record in an unfinished attachment for my great-grandmother. Once I opened the record, I saw her sister’s name on the census and added her to the family tree. No one in the family had known she existed. Now she is on the family tree and with the right family.

It was such a great find for me, because last spring I visited our family cemetery in Texas where I found the gravestone of my Great-grandmother Morgan. I didn’t check if her siblings were buried there because I made the connection only to her. Now I am excited to go back to the cemetery to see if I can find all her siblings that I have now found in the census just because I checked the unfinished attachments in my tree. What a fulfilling discovery!

The above image shows Gendaia J B Neugan. Until now, she had not been included with her family. She showed up on a census record that was an unfinished attachment in her sister’s sources.

Take Action with Unfinished Attachments

When you find additional people or sources, what next? Once you click Unfinished Attachments, you can do a few other things:

  • Attach the record to the people who are already in the tree. You can do this by looking on the left column of the Source Linker to see the record that can be attached.
  • Do nothing. Some records may mention people who are not closely related to the main person on the record and don’t need to be added.
  • If you have viewed the unfinished attachment and it seems that it does not apply or may be incorrect, you can click Dismiss. Bear in mind that this option also removes the Unfinished Attachments link for anyone else who may view the source.

Unfinished Attachments is a great new feature on FamilySearch.org that can help you discover family you may have missed and help enrich your family story. Take a moment to check your unfinished attachments and see what is waiting for you!

Black History Month: Facts about Black History

Wed, 01/29/2020 - 12:21

Celebrate Black History Month with these lesser-known facts about the contributions to world history of Africans and people of African descent.

When some people think of black history, they often think of civil rights and the challenges of combating the consequences and legacy of slavery. These are part of the global African experience, but there is so much more. For thousands of years, people of African descent have been making history—both within Africa and far beyond its shores. Black history is world history.

African World Heritage Day (May 5), proclaimed by UNESCO, is a global invitation for Africa and the world to commemorate the continent’s unique heritage. Many countries also observe an annual black history month to celebrate the contributions of people of African descent. In the United States and Canada, Black History Month takes place during February; in the European Union and the United Kingdom, people observe Black History Month during October. 

Black History Facts: African Contributions to the World

Wherever you may celebrate black history, the following list of black history facts touches on some of the many notable accomplishments that can help you recognize and commemorate the enduring global legacy of Africans and those of African descent.

Master Mathematicians

Perhaps as early as 35,000 years ago, African mathematicians developed mathematical concepts still in use today. Egyptians used algebra and geometry—even wrote textbooks on the subjects—and used the principles to predict Nile River flood patterns. The Yoruba people developed a complex number system 8,000 years ago that still impresses scholars today.

Ingenious Metalworkers

African metal workers developed their own iron technology millennia ago. Ancient metallurgists in what is now Niger created unique and efficient ways of processing ore at high temperatures, sometimes in furnaces hollowed from the trunks of banana trees. The furnaces of Tanzanian metalworkers burned hundreds of degrees hotter than Roman furnaces of the same era.

African Explorers

There is evidence that African explorers may have traveled to Asia and South America as early as the 1200s BC. The Mali and Songhai people built sturdy enough ships to transport heavy cargo, including elephants brought back to Africa from Asia. Much later, an experienced sailor perhaps of African descent, Pedro Alonso Niño, piloted the Santa Maria during Italian explorer Christopher Columbus’s initial voyage to the Western Hemisphere.

Innovations in Farming

Long ago, farmers in modern-day Senegal and surrounding regions learned to channel their region’s periodic floods (both fresh water and salt water) to produce abundant crops. Portuguese explorers in the 1400s noted these practices with awe, and agricultural experts today still admire them. Many of the crops eventually grown by Europeans in the Americas, including cotton, rice, sugar cane and coffee, came from Africa, along with the knowledge to cultivate them successfully.

African Astronomers

Well before recorded history, Africans made accurate, detailed astronomical observations. Egyptians understood solar and lunar movements and developed a 12-month calendar. The Dogons of present-day Mali observed the rings of Saturn, Jupiter’s moon, the shape of the Milky Way galaxy and more.

Amazing Architecture

The architectural skills of many African cultures are legendary, beginning with Egyptians who constructed massive stone temples, tombs, pyramids, and sculptures. Impressive ancient structures were also built in Ghana, Nubia, Ethiopia, West Africa, and beyond. African architects eventually incorporated influences from Roman and Islamic builders into African buildings.

Especially famous are the rock-hewn and adobe Coptic churches in Ethiopia, some of which are now UNESCO World Heritage sites. Some African builders took their skills into exile—architects of African descent may have helped build cathedrals in South America and the towns of Kingston, Jamaica and Newport, Rhode Island.

Ready to explore your own African heritage? Trace your African Brazilian roots, search for African American ancestors, or learn about researching heritage in Africa itself.

All About Black History Month

Black History Month Is for Everyone

Tue, 01/28/2020 - 14:01

February provides an opportunity to celebrate Black History Month and reflect on the life-changing contributions that those of African descent have made to the world. Interestingly, the history of Black History Month itself provides a window into why it is so important to know, remember, and celebrate black history.  

Who Started Black History Month?

Black History Month came onto the American scene in the meek clothing of “Negro History Week,” which was held during the second week of February (7–14) in 1926. It was designed by Dr. Carter G. Woodson (1875–1950), a native of Virginia and the son of formerly enslaved parents. Having once worked as a coal miner, Woodson went on to earn two degrees from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in history from Harvard University. He also founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life (now the Association for the Study of African American Life and History).

The date for Negro History Week was chosen to encompass the birthdays of two men—United States president Abraham Lincoln and abolitionist Frederick Douglass. Both had long been honored in the African American community as pivotal to black freedom.

Woodson’s idea initially met a lukewarm reception, but over time its popularity grew. Under the influence of black American freedom movements in the 1960s and 1970s, “Negro History Week” quickly became “Black History Month,” expressing new racial pride and interest in African American culture and history.

In 1976, President Gerald Ford became the first United States president to officially recognize Black History Month, with a proclamation he issued during America’s bicentennial. Subsequent presidents, Republican and Democrat alike, have all issued Black History Month proclamations.

Where Is Black History Month Celebrated?

Activists for racial equality in the United States, the Caribbean, and Africa helped spread a new racial pride called “black consciousness” around the world. This movement inspired the creation of Black History Month celebrations in Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, and the Netherlands, as well as countries in Africa and throughout the Caribbean.

These observances have been tailored to the experiences of black people in each respective nation. For example, Black History Month in the United Kingdom was initiated in 1987 by a Ghanaian-born immigrant named Akyaaba Addai Sebo. Sebo proposed October as their month of celebration because that is when traditional African leaders meet to settle differences.

Why Is It Important to Study Black History?

Black history is important because black history is American history. It is not a separate subject. We highlight black history to continue to understand how black narratives are tightly woven and integrated into the narrative of the United States as a whole. The same is true worldwide.

Negro History Week was originally about reaching black children in public schools. Dr. Woodson decried what he called “the miseducation of the Negro” in schools relying on textbooks that either ignored or distorted black history with ugly racial stereotypes. This omission and distortion left both black and white children unaware of the tremendous contributions of African people to America and world civilizations across time.

Two results have been low self-esteem among many African Americans and justification for racial discrimination in America. Negro History Week was a call to overcome these problems by teaching accurate and uplifting portrayals of black achievement. In the words of the first black-owned newspaper, Freedom’s Journal (1827–1829), African Americans must “plead our own cause.”

Black History Month has increased the understanding of African American history and culture by providing educational resources for teachers and promoting collections, exhibits, and resources that tell the incredible stories of African Americans who have changed the world.

Why Do We Celebrate Black History Month?

Black History Month highlights the lasting contributions of black men and women in society. Woodson felt that this remembering was important and that such an education would motivate others to rise to their highest potential. Now, we dedicate an entire month to recognize the meaningful impact that individuals of African descent have made to enrich American culture, expand democracy, strengthen families, and make a better society for all. 

The arrival of kidnapped Africans in Virginia in 1619 marked the beginning of the need to reclaim the dignity of black life in America through celebration of black history. For the next nearly 250 years, documentation of black life in America was dominated by bills of sale, estate inventories, and laws defining blacks as slave property. Blacks were declared to have no history and were considered less than human. They were taught to despise their own physical characteristics and forget their African culture.

After emancipation, educated African Americans continued to teach about black achievements and history as evidence of black humanity and equality. These teachings inspired other socially marginalized groups such as women and Latinos in search of social equality to celebrate their history, heritage, and achievements in a special month.

Black History and Genealogy

Today, the future of Black History Month is limitless thanks to new tech tools and digital communication. The arrival of DNA testing and internet-based genealogy websites has revolutionized Woodson’s work in ways he never imagined. Family historians dive into archives, online newspapers, and census reports to stretch the traditional boundaries of history. They discover amazing life stories of their ancestors—ordinary people who did extraordinary things. These stories inspire new generations and destroy old stereotypes.

Old lines of broken relationships are being restored as African Americans use DNA to connect with descendants of their African relatives. Some descendants of former slave owners share family records to help descendants of the once enslaved learn about their ancestors.

Providing free access to millions of documents containing valuable information in its African American Genealogy hub, FamilySearch is at the forefront of promoting new horizons for the discovery of black family history.

Undoubtedly, this effort helps build connections across barriers of historical bitterness. Time itself is not necessarily a healer, but it does offer opportunities for healing. Black History Month can provide healing opportunities for families, communities, and nations.

For more information on how you and your family can make the most of this month, head to FamilySearch’s African American Genealogy hub.

Interested in learning more about historic days in February? Download this handy calendar!

All About Black History Month

New Records on FamilySearch from January 2020

Mon, 01/27/2020 - 20:12

FamilySearch expanded its free online archives in January of 2020 with over 24.4 million new indexed family history records from all over the world. New historical records were added from American Samoa, Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, England, France, Germany, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Puerto Rico, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Wales, and the United States, which includes Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Colombia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Washington. United States Marriages 1733-1990 and United States recruits for the Polish Army in France (1917-1919) are included as well.

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.

CountryCollectionIndexed RecordsDigital ImagesCommentsAmerican Samoa American Samoa, Vital Records, 1850-19729,8290Added indexed records to an existing collectionArgentinaArgentina Baptisms, 1645-19301,625,5820Added indexed records to an existing collectionAustraliaAustralia, South Australia, Immigrants Ship Papers, 1849-1940145,1650Added indexed records to an existing collectionBoliviaBolivia Catholic Church Records, 1566-1996396,4580Added indexed records to an existing collectionBrazilBrazil, Minas Gerais, Civil Registration, 1879-19492,0830Added indexed records to an existing collectionBrazilBrazil, Paraná, Civil Registration, 1852-19966,2710Added indexed records to an existing collectionBrazilBrazil, Rio de Janeiro, Civil Registration, 1829-201275,7680Added indexed records to an existing collectionBrazilBrazil, Santa Catarina, Civil Registration, 1850-199919,4080Added indexed records to an existing collectionCanadaNova Scotia Church Records, 1720-200122,1150Added indexed records to an existing collectionCanadaNova Scotia Deaths, 1864-18771900Added indexed records to an existing collectionCape VerdeCape Verde, Catholic Church Records, 1787-19575,7170Added indexed records to an existing collectionChileChile, Catholic Church Records, 1710-19284,3410Added indexed records to an existing collectionChileChile, Cemetery Records, 1821-2015203,8700Added indexed records to an existing collectionColombiaColombia, Bogotá, Burial Permits, 1960-199116,1610Added indexed records to an existing collectionColombiaColombia, Bogotá, Burial Permits, 1960-199111,2430Added indexed records to an existing collectionColombiaColombia, Bogotá, Burial Permits, 1960-19916,3710Added indexed records to an existing collectionColombiaColombia, Bogotá, Burial Permits, 1960-19913,2280Added indexed records to an existing collectionDenmarkDenmark, Århus Municipal Census, 193632,5380New indexed records collectionDominican RepublicDominican Republic Baptisms, 1726-192428,2140Added indexed records to an existing collectionEcuadorEcuador, Catholic Church Records, 1565-20112,277,1960Added indexed records to an existing collectionEnglandEngland Births and Christenings, 1538-197542,9560Added indexed records to an existing collectionEnglandEngland Deaths and Burials, 1538-19914,5550Added indexed records to an existing collectionEnglandEngland Marriages, 1538–1973 4,1100Added indexed records to an existing collectionEnglandEngland, Cumbria Parish Registers, 1538-1990836,1060New indexed records collectionEnglandEngland, Oxfordshire Parish Registers 1538-19048310Added indexed records to an existing collectionEnglandEngland, Yorkshire Marriage Bonds and Allegations, 1613-18874,1230Added indexed records to an existing collectionEnglandEngland, Yorkshire Marriage Bonds and Allegations, 1613-18877,7900Added indexed records to an existing collectionFranceFrance, Loire-Atlantique, Civil Registration, 1792-19602,921,4460New indexed records collectionFranceFrance, Marne, Census, 1856201,3520New indexed records collectionGermanyGermany Births and Baptisms, 1558-18983420Added indexed records to an existing collectionGermanyGermany, Prussia, Saxony, Census Lists, 1770-193479,7300Added indexed records to an existing collectionGuatemalaGuatemala Civil Registration, 1868-2008443,7800Added indexed records to an existing collectionHaitiHaiti, Port-au-Prince, Civil Registration, 1794-2012193,4340Added indexed records to an existing collectionHondurasHonduras, Catholic Church Records, 1633-197843,8660Added indexed records to an existing collectionHungaryHungary Civil Registration, 1895-1980107,0330Added indexed records to an existing collectionIcelandIceland Baptisms, 1730-19058690Added indexed records to an existing collectionIrelandIreland Landed Estate Court Files, 1850-1885682,0550Added indexed records to an existing collectionIrelandIreland, Poverty Relief Funds, 1810-1887691,2100New indexed records collectionIrelandIreland, Treble Almanac, 182217,3980New indexed records collectionIrelandNorthern Ireland, Tithe Applotment Books, 1822-1837221,5410Added indexed records to an existing collectionItalyItaly, Bologna, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1806-1899990Added indexed records to an existing collectionItalyItaly, Bologna, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1806-189990Added indexed records to an existing collectionItalyItaly, Roma, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1863-19302,6900Added indexed records to an existing collectionItalyItaly, Trieste, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1924-19442,2060Added indexed records to an existing collectionJamaicaJamaica, Church of England Parish Register Transcripts, 1664-18803780Added indexed records to an existing collectionMexicoMexico, Sinaloa, Civil Registration, 1861-192973,6430Added indexed records to an existing collectionNetherlandsNetherlands, Noord-Holland, Civil Registration, 1811-195072,9370Added indexed records to an existing collectionNew ZealandNew Zealand, Archives New Zealand, Probate Records, 1843-199889,8930Added indexed records to an existing collectionPeruPeru, Áncash, Civil Registration, 1888-2005140,1190Added indexed records to an existing collectionPeruPeru, Ayacucho, Civil Registration, 1903-199920,1470Added indexed records to an existing collectionPeruPeru, Huánuco, Civil Registration, 1889-199753,1870Added indexed records to an existing collectionPeruPeru, Lima, Civil Registration, 1874-199677,5990Added indexed records to an existing collectionPeruPeru, Prelature of Yauyos-Cañete-Huarochirí, Catholic Church Records, 1665-20185,8830Added indexed records to an existing collectionPuerto RicoPuerto Rico, Civil Registration, 1805-20011,4510Added indexed records to an existing collectionSierra LeoneSierra Leone, Civil Births, 1802-196939,6010Added indexed records to an existing collectionSlovakiaSlovakia Church and Synagogue Books, 1592-193514,3280Added indexed records to an existing collectionSouth AfricaSouth Africa, Civil Marriage Records, 1840-197311,6040Added indexed records to an existing collectionSouth AfricaSouth Africa, KwaZulu Natal, Vital Records, 1868-197624,7060Added indexed records to an existing collectionSpainSpain Baptisms, 1502-1940281,3100Added indexed records to an existing collectionSpainSpain, Diocese of Ávila, Catholic Church Records, 1502-1975180,3030Added indexed records to an existing collectionSpainSpain, Province of Gerona, Municipal Records, 1566-195649,5590Added indexed records to an existing collectionSwedenSweden, Örebro Church Records, 1613-1918; index 1635-186044,8940Added indexed records to an existing collectionSwedenSweden, Stockholm City Archives, Index to Church Records, 1546-192757,3680Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesAlabama Marriages, 1816-19571010Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesArizona Births and Christenings, 1909-19172280Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesArizona Deaths and Burials, 1910-1911; 1933-19941,1240Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesArizona Marriages, 1865-194970,6420Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesArkansas Deaths and Burials, 1882-1929; 1945-19631120Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesCalifornia Births and Christenings, 1812-1988167,1150Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesCalifornia Marriages, 1850-1945505,9060Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesCalifornia, County Birth and Death Records, 1800-199420,4170Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesConnecticut Births and Christenings, 1649-1906160,1930Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesDelaware Births and Christenings, 1710-189610,5330Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesDelaware Deaths and Burials, 1815-19551630Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesDelaware, County Naturalization Records, 1796-195810,1010Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesDistrict of Columbia Deaths and Burials, 1840-19641,1760Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesFlorida Marriages, 1837-1974205,9040Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesGeorgia, Chatham, Savannah, Laurel Grove Cemetery Record Keeper’s Book (colored), 1852-19426960Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesGeorgia, Columbus, Linwood and Porterdale Colored Cemeteries, Interment Records, 1866-20006790Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesGeorgia, Confederate Pension Rolls, 1879-192030,2810Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesGeorgia, County Voter Registrations, 1856-190999,6170Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesGeorgia, Savannah City Jail Registers, 1855-187328,5910New indexed records collectionUnited StatesHawaii Marriages, 1826-192217,1520Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesHawaii, Board of Health, Marriage Record Indexes, 1909-198981,0850Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesIdaho Births and Christenings, 1856-196555,0030Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesIdaho Deaths and Burials, 1907-19651,9850Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesIdaho Marriages, 1878-1898; 1903-19424870Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesIdaho, Bonneville County, Idaho Falls, Rose Hill Cemetery Records, 1800-20072,7870Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesIdaho, County Marriages, 1864-195028,6310Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesIllinois Marriages, 1815-1935570,3490Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesIndiana Births and Christenings, 1773-1933197,8700Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesIowa Births and Christenings, 1830-19501,3830Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesIowa Mortality Schedules, 1850-188039,1480New indexed records collectionUnited StatesKansas Births and Christenings, 1818-19364,8190Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesKansas Deaths and Burials, 1885-19307,2490Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesKansas Marriages, 1840-1935221,2200Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesKansas, Swedish Church Vital Records, 1861-19184,7850New indexed records collectionUnited StatesKansas, Swedish Church Vital Records, 1861-19181340Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesKentucky Deaths and Burials, 1843-197055,7090Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesKentucky Marriages, 1785-1979246,3010Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesKentucky Marriages, 1785-19795,6900Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesKentucky, County Marriages, 1797-195414,5850Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesKentucky, Jefferson County, Louisville Children’s Home Records, 1866-193814,5740New indexed records collectionUnited StatesLouisiana Births and Christenings, 1811-1830, 1854-193462,8710Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesLouisiana State Penitentiary Records, 1866-1963127,5140Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesLouisiana, New Orleans, Interment Registers, 1836-19725,3170Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesLouisiana, New Orleans, Slave Manifests of Coastwise Vessels, 1807-1860115,0980New indexed records collectionUnited StatesLouisiana, Orleans Parish, Birth Records, 1819-19061370Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesMaryland Deaths and Burials, 1877-199210,3580Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesMaryland Marriages, 1666-19706,7480Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesMassachusetts Births and Christenings, 1639-191564,6980Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesMassachusetts Deaths and Burials, 1795-191082,4730Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesMassachusetts Deaths, 1841-19155,2090Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesMassachusetts Marriages, 1695-19101,025,8110Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesMassachusetts State Vital Records, 1841-19201,0650Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesMichigan, Civil War Centennial Observance Commission, Committee on Civil War Grave Registration, Burial Records4,0990Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesMichigan, Grand Army of the Republic Membership Records, 1876-1945205,8110New indexed records collectionUnited StatesMississippi, County Marriages, 1858-197946,6850Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesMississippi, Voter Registration, 1876-1967138,8790New indexed records collectionUnited StatesMissouri Births and Christenings, 1827-1935103,9620Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesMissouri Marriages, 1750-1920111,1670Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesMissouri, County Marriage, Naturalization, and Court Records, 1800-199140Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesMontana, County Naturalizations, 1856-1979205,8110Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesNew Hampshire Marriages, 1720-19204540Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesNew Jersey Births and Christenings, 1660-1980662,8080Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesNew Jersey Deaths and Burials, 1720-1988623,5760Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesNew Jersey Marriages, 1678-1985465,3550Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesNew Jersey Naturalization Records, 1796-1991171,6780Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesNew Mexico Births and Christenings, 1726-191835,0530Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesNew Mexico Deaths and Burials, 1788-1798; 1838-19557,9010Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesNorth Carolina Deaths and Burials, 1898-19942,610,7520Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesNorth Carolina Marriages, 1759-19791,290,6850Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesNorth Carolina, Center for Health Statistics, Vital Records Unit, County Birth Records, 1913-19223,5510Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesOklahoma Deaths and Burials, 1864-19415260New indexed records collectionUnited StatesOklahoma Marriages, 1870-19309,6430Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesOklahoma, Confederate Pension Applications, 1879-192023,4600New indexed records collectionUnited StatesOregon Births and Christenings, 1868-192964,2050Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesOregon Deaths and Burials, 1903-194724,6220Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesOregon Marriages, 1853-19355,7490Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesPennsylvania, County Marriages, 1885-1950020Added images to an existing collectionUnited StatesRhode Island Births and Christenings, 1600-191468,4780Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesRhode Island Marriages, 1724-1916128,6970Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesSouth Carolina Births and Christenings, 1681-193522,4680Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesSouth Carolina, Charleston City Death Records, 1821-192637,4370Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesSouth Carolina, Charleston City Death Records, 1821-192612,8120Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesSouth Carolina, Charleston City Death Records, 1821-19265,8490Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesSouth Carolina, State and Territorial Censuses, 1829-1920176,8290New indexed records collectionUnited StatesSouth Dakota, Veteran Graves Registration Records, 1940-19417580New indexed records collectionUnited StatesTennessee, Davidson County, Nashville City Cemetery Records, 1843-19624760Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesTennessee, Shelby County, Memphis, Board of Health Death Records, 1848-19131,3300Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesTexas, El Paso Alien Arrivals, 1909-1924500Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesUnited States Marriages, 1733-19902710Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesUnited States, Missouri, Recruitment Lists of Volunteers for the United States Colored Troops, 1863-186517,8810New indexed records collectionUnited StatesUnited States, Recruits for the Polish Army in France, 1917-19196,1090Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesUtah Marriages, 1887-193531,1810Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesVirginia, Bureau of Vital Statistics, County Marriage Registers, 1853-19351,0670Added indexed records to an existing collectionUnited StatesWashington, County Naturalization Records, 1850-198244,7180Added indexed records to an existing collectionWalesWales, Glamorganshire, Parish Registers, 1538-191218,0000Added indexed records to an existing collection