Well it is June 14 today and in the United States that means it is FLAG DAY! Today commemorates the 237th anniversary of the adoption of the flag of the United States of America, this adoption took place 14 June 1777 by resolution of the Second Continental Congress. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation that officially established June 14 as Flag day, and in August 1949, National Flag Day was established by an Act of Congress.
From the apocryphal story crediting Betsy Ross as sewing the first flag for the colonies from a pencil sketch handed to her by George Washington himself we have the 13 original colonies
Although it is a celebrated holiday, it is not an official federal holiday. For me that does not take away the significance of the day-- to remember my country's beginning and the union of our many states and people!
And so with that, Happy Flag Day!
FamilySearch has added more than 2.6 million indexed records and images to collections from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, England, Guatemala, Italy, Netherlands, Peru, South Korea, Spain, United States, and Venezuela.
Notable collection updates include the 317,554 indexed records from the Chile, Civil Registration, 1885–1903, collection; the 443,904 indexed records from the Spain, Province of Cádiz, Municipal Records, 1784–1956, collection; and the 172,261 indexed records from United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917–1918, collection. See the table below for the full list of updates. Search these diverse collections and more than 3.5 billion other records for free at FamilySearch.org.
Searchable historic records are made available on FamilySearch.org through the help of thousands of volunteers from around the world. These volunteers transcribe (index) information from digital copies of handwritten records to make them easily searchable online. More volunteers are needed (particularly those who can read foreign languages) to keep pace with the large number of digital images being published online at FamilySearch.org. Learn more about volunteering to help provide free access to the worldís historic genealogical records online at FamilySearch.org .
FamilySearch Adds More Than 4.3 Million Indexed Records and Images to Chile, China, Denmark, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, and the United States
FamilySearch has added more than 4.3 million indexed records and images to collections from Chile, China, Denmark, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, and the United States. Notable collection updates include the 687,546 indexed records and images from the new Chile, Cemetery Records, 1821–2013, collection; the 541,382 images from the Portugal, Beja, Civil Registration and Miscellaneous Records, 1609–1950, collection; and the 579,293 indexed records and images from U.S., BillionGraves Index, collection. Search these diverse collections and more than 3.5 billion other records for free at FamilySearch.org
Find the complete update on the FamilySearch News and Press page.
There are many online resources for genealogical research, one of the greatest is FamilySearch.org. While Ancestry.com and others provide incredible services—they charge a substantial annual fee. Family Search however provide their services for FREE. FamilySearch is the largest genealogy organization in the world. Their records come from the Family History Center located in Salt Lake City, Utah. This center is five floors of microfilm, mircofische and books from all over the world! According to their website, FamilySearch is a nonprofit family history organization dedicated to connecting families across generations. FamilySearch believes that families bring joy and meaning to life.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the primary benefactor for FamilySearch services. Their commitment to helping people connect with their ancestors stems from their firm beliefs—that the family is the fundamental unit in society and families are central to our lives and happiness in this life, they also believe that family relationships are intended to continue beyond this life and into the next.
FamilySearch was historically known as the Genealogical Society of Utah, founded in 1894—over the past 120 years this society has grown in records as well as their dedication to preserving and promoting those records. Their purpose is simple, but generous—help people to connect with their ancestors. That is why they provide easy online access freely to the public.
In further posts I will explain some of the specific services and hints for using familysearch. For now go online to search the millions of records that are available to be online right now. Brush up on your German, Spanish or whatever it may be—they have international records too. Visit Familysearch.org to get started.
Sometimes online research is completely amazing, right? And then there are those times when all of your research suddenly hits a dead end. You're stuck but you want to keep going...
FamilySearch, owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints offers access online at FamilySearch.org for free. But did you know that they also have Family History Centers for your use?
There are 4,745 FamilySearch Centers worldwide!
These centers are equip with microfilm and microfilm readers as well as the ability to order microfilm to be sent to the FamilySearch center nearest you. They are full of helpful and knowledgeable workers to answer your questions and show you what to do. These centers are an incredible resource when you get stuck in your online research!
To find the nearest FamilySearch center to you, use the link below:
Obituaries are amazing! Don’t underestimate the information that can come from those incredible documents. They can be difficult to find, but perhaps I can help with some tips.
Obituaries have been around for a long time—in fact, the earlier obits (as they are sometimes shortened) would often include a great deal of information regarding the deceased; maiden names, places of birth, information about parents and siblings, etc.
So how can you use them?
It isn't uncommon to see an obituary list the names of those who "survived" the deceased (this may include parents, siblings, a spouse and children)—if you are stuck tracing a family, don’t hesitate to use the name(s) of a sibling rather than your direct ancestor to see if you can find information regarding their parents, immigration, birthplaces, etc. This can be a wealth of information. Sometimes it takes thinking outside the box to find what you are looking for!
When looking for an obituary-- of course a great resource is the internet. Unfortunately, not every obituary (or any other record) will be listed online. Thus, one of the best ways to locate obituaries is through local libraries. Most county libraries can be contacted and you can ask them to search for an obituary in the local newspaper. Sometimes they will ask for compensation, but I have found that most of the time they will do a search for you for free. Keep in mind you'll need the date of death or at least a close approximation.
Genealogy is fascinating. At least once you get involved with it. It is nothing but stories. Just an interesting bunch of stories. Actually, some of them are even boring. But what about the ones that are set on the stage of the American frontier, or the battle front? Or a ship leaving Liverpool, England with a teenage girl never to return to her native Switzerland. You start to realize that these are "normal," everyday people just like you and me.
And that is where it gets crazy. Family History and Genealogy is simply piecing together these stories from whatever we can find; birth certificates, marriage licenses, death records, obituaries and journals, etc. Some records are better than others, Wouldn't it be awesome if we could just find volumes of journals full of their lives, thoughts and feelings? With that in mind, doesn't it make you wonder... what will our posterity know about us?
Maybe it is this question ringing in my ears that drives me to keep a daily journal. And NO, I do not start "dear diary," nor do I simply list my day to day activities. There is a lot of heart, a lot of thought and a lot of story telling. Also some rambling ;)
In a world so full of technology we hardly realize how easy it is now for us to leave something behind. This blog for example. I think in our day and age we have better opportunity and better access to records and record keeping... so lets use it.
This is part of my contribution. A blog about family and history. Feel free to ask me questions, to comment or to just read about the genealogy experience. I will keep this updated with new cases, exciting findings or whatever adventures come my way. Yes, there are adventures in the life of a genealogist! ;) Just you wait and see.
Quite possibly the coolest, most fascinating part of family history—for me, is the ability to connect with those who have passed away, your ancestors. WHO were they? WHAT did they do? HOW did they live? It is so amazing to find the answers to these questions. Sometimes their stories are incredible, emotional and exciting-- other times they can be dramatic, disappointing or even sad. They struggled to make ends meet, just like we do. They put their families first, just like we do. They give up things (status, lifestyle, careers) for love, just like we do. It is amazing to see how the past can parallel the present, and undoubtedly the future.
I am amazed by their passion, their persistence and their courage.
My great, great grandmother left her home in Switzerland to travel to the United States at the age of 19. She was alone, she left behind four brothers and her parents and she spoke only German. She was remarkable. What amount of courage would that take for her to leave? When she arrived in America, she met and married a man from Stuttgart, Germany and together they started a family of their own. My great, great grandmother never returned to her beloved homeland, she never saw her family again.
History is full of stories about kings and crusades, revolutions and rebellions, history is full of wars. Genealogy is full of stories about fathers and mothers, grandparents and siblings, genealogy is full of families. Those are the kinds of stories I like best, the stories that fill the pages of our history books with real lives, real loves, real people who did incredible things.
Although not my own ancestors, I love the true to life love of John and Abigail Adams, I love to see their correspondence. It makes John Adams not only a political or historical figure as the second President of the United States, but a husband, a father, a man. In 1780 he wrote to his wife saying;
"I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain."
Let us remember that history is not just stories. It is the telling of what happened to real people in their very real (long ago) lives.