Family Tree - Genealogy, Ancestry, and Family Tree Research

Family Tree - Build your Family Tree.

Family Search is a long time and highly used genealogical web site developed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Church, based out of Utah. Some of the outstanding research databases include International Genealogical Index, the Ancestral File, the Family Tree History Library Catalog, plus the thousands of web site submissions by individuals. There are user mailing lists, online ordering of research materials from the Family History Library and the opportunity to preserve one’s own family history research online.

The objective of the Family Tree Search is to assist anyone in learning and connecting with their ancestors. The decades of collecting, organizing, microfilming and producing in a digital format have created a vast treasure chest of documents, records, indexes, charts and manifests that cover a complete range of divergent cultures, religions, and ethnic groups across the world.

The Family Tree Search site has several methods to approach the research. One can go over the long listing of U. S. states, of provinces and territories of numerous nations. Any one can research by a specific subject or by a document type. If researching just the Almanacs for Italy, those are listed under subject. With using document type, a researcher would find what information were requested in U. S. and U.K. census documents, as well as pedigree charts available for anyone to complete for their own tree.

In searching by full name, there is available the census records, International Genealogical Index, Ancestral File, Pedigree Resource File, U. S. Social Security Death Index, Vital Records Index as well as the Family Tree history web sites submitted by individuals. This search for ancestors using all the major databases covers all the world countries and regions. The search engine is easy to navigate and then to call up any individual records.

The newest addition to Family Search is their ‘Record Search.’ Some 453 regions are included across the globe. The following are some examples of what can be located are listed. In Canada, the births and death records along with census records are available. For Mexico, there are baptisms, deaths and marriage records which include civil registrations and Roman Catholic Church records. In Russia, are records for births, marriage and deaths from the 18th century into the early 20th century. For Panama, records include baptism, marriages and deaths from the 1700s to 1950.

On the web site is a listing of the main Library’s catalog, so that any microfilm, microfiche or public document at the Library in Salt Lake City, Utah can be loaned to a person’s local Family Tree History Center.

A great addition to the site has been the digital Family Tree history collections which can be downloaded and read on a person’s own computer using Adobe Reader. Using the search engine with the family history achieves, a surname is written in and a listing appears of all books, journals, booklets and family histories written and located in the collection. The title of the work and author are shown and a description of the written material along with a listing of all surnames. Once a selection is made, just click on it for access to read the material in its entirely.

The genealogical site offers a link to hundreds of other online web sites that can assist a researchers to the Library of Congress, the New England Historical Genealogical Society, the Public Record Office of England and to Ellis Island Records. In addition, there are general web sites to provide assistance in legal documents, nobility, military, business and land records. Besides the listing and the links a search engine is available to help locate other sources on the Internet.

Offered is the new online classes covering countless subjects and topics. With one click a video can be viewed on a selected subject with complete explanations and the showing examples. Most video lessons run 20 to 30 minutes and can be replayed as many times as necessary. A few of the topics covered are ‘Reading Russian Names-Dates-Key Words,’ ‘Doing Polish Research,’ ‘Immigration during Irish Famine,’ ‘English Census Records,’ ‘Using Time Lines,’ and ‘Tips for Genealogy Research.’

Across the United States many genealogical conferences with guest speakers are held year-round. Many of the classes and programs are also on video and can be viewed using the Family Tree Search site. The heading is ‘Genealogical Presentations Online’ and a full listing of the topics and where it took place are there. Click on the subject of interest to view the full presentation.

Family Tree Search has special resources on African-American families, Jewish families, Hispanic families (plus some are done in Spanish).Offered are the Personal Ancestral File (PAF), a family history software program to collect, organize and share family history. Also, a selection of family tree charts in different styles and colors are available to download.All the databases, charts, online classes, resources, advice and information are provided free to anyone at any time through the Family Search web site. Making it totally free they have provided the opportunity for everyone to work on their ancestry.

Family Tree - Genealogy, Ancestry, and Family Tree Research

The Family Tree Search site has several methods to approach the research. One can go over the long listing of U. S. states, of provinces and territories of numerous nations. Any one can research by a specific subject or by a document type. If researching just the Almanacs for Italy, those are listed under subject. With using document type, a researcher would find what information were requested in U. S. and U.K. census documents, as well as pedigree charts available for anyone to complete for their own tree.

Family Tree - In MATTER’s latest story, Uprooted, Virginia Hughes writes about how advancements in genetic testing, combined with the Internet revolution, have transformed the genealogy industry—and what implications these changes have on our privacy.

I’ve always considered genealogy a strange hobby. Why do people devote so much of their time towards unearthing fairly trivial information about their long-dead ancestors?  While I was reporting Uprooted, I heard a wide range of answers to this question. But the most poignant response came from Fred Moss, the legal advisor for the Federation of Genealogical Societies.

I had called Moss because I was trying to find examples of legal cases—such as paternity or inheritance scuffles—that inadvertently resulted from online genealogical searches.  Moss hadn’t heard of any such cases; as it turns out, he deals with cases that involve fighting for more access to genealogical records—not those involving emotionally potent online searches. Because of  Family Tree heightened security concerns over the past few years, these records have become more difficult to access. That’s a big problem for Moss and other genealogists, and one that they have trouble communicating to legislatures and the greater public. “The genealogical community,” he told me, “does a woefully inadequate job of explaining why we do what we do and how society benefits from these efforts.”

Genealogists play a major role in finding the next-of-kin of unidentified human remains like fallen soldiers or unclaimed bodies, according to Moss. They can also identify heirs to resolve property disputes or complicated estates. The research provides health benefits too: Knowing the illnesses that run in your Family Tree can help your doctor predict what might be a problem for you. (The U.S. Surgeon General has even launched an online genealogy tool to encourage the tracing of Family Tree illnesses.) 

While these are laudable and important efforts, they’re not the primary motivators for most genealogy hobbyists, including Moss. When I asked him why he’s so passionate about it, he told me the same thing that every genealogist told me: It gives him profound insights for dealing with the ups and downs of his own life. 

Moss, age 74, has buried two of his children, and another child lost his home to a fire. Through his extensive genealogy research, Moss learned some of his ancestors had also lost children, while others lost their homes to fires and floods. “For me and my children to realize that it’s possible to live through some of these experiences,” he said, “I think makes us better able to cope.” 

Moss directed me to some fascinating psychological studies bolstering this idea. The research suggests that children’s identities are shaped not only by what they themselves experience, but by the stories they hear about Family Tree members’ experiences. 

A few years ago, researchers at Emory University tape-recorded the dinnertime conversations of several dozen middle-class families. All of the families told episodic tales of what happened at school or at work that day, as the researchers expected they would. What wasn’t expected was that the families also talked a lot about the past, including, for example, stories of the parents’ childhoods. The study found that children whose mothers who told the most Family Tree stories were the least likely to have anxiety, depression, anger, and aggression, the study found. But other types of stories, such as those related to the day’s events, didn’t have a strong impact on the child’s well being. 

Intrigued, the researchers performed another study in which they surveyed 66 teenagers about their emotions and family life. One of those surveys, dubbed the “Do You Know scale,” asked 20 yes/no questions about whether the children knew family stories, such as how their parents met or where their grandparents grew up. The researchers found that the greater the adolescents’ knowledge of their family history, the higher their levels of self-worth, emotional well-being, Family Tree communication, and ability to plan for the future. 

At the end of their report, the researchers raise a provocative point that has made me re-think my skepticism of genealogy. “There is the question,” they write, “of whether adults who do not know their family histories and/or do not pass them on less adjusted, have less functioning families, are less resilient, or have less clear identities than those who do carry and transmit their Family Tree narratives.” 

That seems to be the case for Cheryl Whittle, whose search for her biological father is the driving narrative of Uprooted, and for thousands of other adoptees who have turned to genetic testing to try to find otherwise mysterious Family Tree members. As I discuss in the story, their choices may be jeopardizing the privacy of their family members. But can you really fault them for grasping at what might be their only chance at finding these powerful family narratives? I certainly can’t.