Friday, January 30, 2015

Last night at the FHC

Yesterday evening, we had 8 teenage girls and one leader in the Riverbend Family History Centre. Neila Davidson, the director, was also there to help us. The goal was help the girls to become "submitters of temple ordinances" as defined in the quarterly reports. i.e. someone who has Printed a FOR (family ordinance request) or else Shared ordinances with the temple.

Steps involved included, finding people:
(1) related to the girl by a definable relationship
(2) dead for at least a year
(3) who were missing one or more temple ordinances
(4) who were born over 110 years ago or for whom permission was granted by an immediate family member

Step 3 included checking for duplicate records and merging them. (This immediately eliminated some good prospects.)

One girl was ecstatic that she had found a missing ordinance that "the experts" in her family had missed! It was a sealing, so she will need to give the ordinance card to an adult who can serve as proxy, but she will have accomplished her goal of submitting an ordinance.

Three of the girls were from long-time LDS families, the others were second or third generation LDS. I was able to help two girls to find missing ordinances and print Family Ordinance Requests. A third girl was also able to print a FOR. This has to be the most FORs I have seen printed in our FHC during a single shift! A 4th FOR will be printed when permission is received from the girl's grandmother, a former FHC director. It was a hectic, but very rewarding evening.


For the last two Thursday evenings I have been able to spend a few minutes of my shift at the Riverbend Family History Centre searching  the newspaper archives at

My experience with digitized newspapers has usually been negative. The OCR (optical character recognition) has been so poor that searching them has usually been more frustration than it is worth. I was happy to discover that the OCR quality at was generally excellent. My search criteria were: Buchanan Neepawa

It is sure handy to have a unique place name like Neepawa to search!

Encourage your patrons to give it a try with their family lines. For people born in the last 100 years it can be one of the best resources, and it is free at the FHC.

Friday, January 16, 2015

The FamilySearch Family Tree (FSFT) keeps getting better and better. If you are a family history consultant or serve in a FHC you should find this site helpful.

It contains some very good lesson material prepared by people that I consider experts.

A word of caution: The site sometimes has a problem with the registration process. It may bring up a screen that asks you to invite all of your email contacts to join this group. If it happens, do not allow it to do so! There should be a link that allows you to decline this offer. If you cannot find this link, close the page.

I believe you can use the material without registering. If so, that would be a good option.

Note that this is not an official FamilySearch site but is operated by people who have a strong background in FamilySearch. They have some valuable cautions about common mistakes made when using FSFT and suggestions for avoiding these mistakes. They come across as quite strong on avoiding doing ordinances for duplicate records, which I appreciate. I like the comparison "Doing ordinances for someone whose ordinances are already done, is like ignoring the pioneers stranded out on the plains and rushing to rescue those who are already safely in the valley."

Get Help on also contains good material, but check out too.