Lesson 4

Workshop 4 - Large Databases and Census Case Study

Last Week

Last week we talked about FamilySearch. We focused on user features and how to utilize them.

●      What are some things that make FamilySearch unique?                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Website Resources

What if the Records section of FamilySearch.org doesn’t have the information you need? Where else do you think you could go to find that information (or to find where the information is located)?

There are so many resources at our fingertips. No one resource has everything, but with your innate internet surfing ability, there is a lot out there that you can get easy access to.

Doctrine

In the October 2012 General Conference, Elder Richard G. Scott said, “Perhaps you have been prompted to look for ancestors but feel you are not a genealogist. Can you see that you don’t have to be anymore? It all begins with love and a sincere desire to help those beyond the veil who can’t help themselves.  . . . Anywhere you are in the world, with prayer, faith, determination, diligence, and some sacrifice, you can make a powerful contribution. Begin now. I promise you that the Lord will help you find a way. And it will make you feel wonderful.”

5 Step Research Process

All of the different websites we’re going to go over today fall under steps three and four of the 5 step research process.

●      Step 3: Select Records to Search

●      Step 4: Obtain and Search the Records

In order to select records you need to know what records are available. In order to search those records, you need to know where they are available. Our goal today is to help you understand what other large databases are available to you as a BYU student and what kinds of information they have.

BYU Family History Library website: a launch pad for searching

http://lib.byu.edu/sites/familyhistory/

The BYU Family History Library is an incredible resource that is available to the BYU and the Provo communities. They have classes, digital databases, reference books, links, and a lot more. Take advantage of what they have to offer.

For this lesson, we’re going to focus on the “Links” menu on the right-hand side. This menu has links to a lot of very useful databases. Many of them require a paid subscription to use—a subscription that has been paid by BYU for BYU students and campus guests with an appropriate login. I would encourage you to explore the website in the “Links” menu on your own time. Today we will focus on just three of them.

Large Paid Subscription Databases

Go over the wildcards when discussing Ancestry.com (Not the others). However, note that wildcards WILL WORK in any of these websites below.

MyHeritage

www.myheritage.com

●     Another large database similar to FamilySearch and Ancestry. However, like these other companies, they have some different record collections that could be useful in your research.

●     Paid subscription website

●     You do NOT have free access on campus (however, we do have free access to a similar website www.worldvitalrecords.com , which is owned by MyHeritage.)

●     Comes with the LDS free access

●     Start your searches broad and then narrow down.

●     Has a database for Family Trees as well. This allows you to attach the records you’ve found in MyHeritage to the family tree. You can then make this tree public so other people can view and help expand the tree.

●     Known for ‘record matching’ (When you upload a tree, it can begin to find new record matches to attach to the tree.)

●     Uses categories (given off the right side of the main search screen) for filtering.

Find My Past

www.findmypast.com/ www.findmypast.co.uk

●     Another large database similar to FamilySearch. However, like these other companies, they have some different record collections that could be useful in your research.

●     Specializes in English research (English company)

o      Still contain US records

o      Also contain many records from the British isles and other European countries

●     Paid subscription website

●     Comes with the LDS free access

●     You do have free access on campus (without signing in)

●     Start your searches broad and then narrow down.

o      Wild card searches (* will fill an any possible endings while ? will substitute any letter that might show up in that place)

o      Census searches available

●     Has a database for Family Trees as well. This allows you to attach the records you’ve found in MyHeritage to the family tree. You can then make this tree public so other people can view and help expand the tree.

Ancestry.com

http://www.ancestry.com

●      Large database like FamilySearch.org, but it’s a commercial company and it has some different record collections

●      Paid subscription site, however, if you are using BYU internet you have free access

●      Comes with the LDS free access

●      Start your searches broad and then narrow down.

o      Wild card searches (* will fill an any possible endings while ? will substitute any letter that might show up in that place)

o      Census searches down at the bottom

●      You can determine what collections Ancestry.com has by going to their “Card Catalog” and searching key terms (such as state name and record type) in the keywords box

●      Has a database for ‘Member Trees’. Similar to Family Tree in FamilySearch but it has different features and links specially to Ancestry. (FamilySearch connections coming soon.) You can also make this tree public so other people can view and help expand the tree.

●     Why is it smart to check all of these different websites when researching a family?

Census Case Study

Powerpoint: List the four or five case study options we have for the students and the URL where they can download them.

Now we’re going to turn you loose. Using what we just learned about large databases, we want you to select one of the families listed on the board and download their RootsMagic file. Choose the one that is closest to your family so that the records you are looking at for the case study will be similar to those you are looking at for your own family. Our challenge for you today is to find two census records for the family you select and to enter the information you learn about them from the census into your RootsMagic file.

Before we turn you completely loose, let’s talk about how you would start.

●      What do you think is the first thing you should do after downloading the RootsMagic file?

●      How do you know which census to start looking in?

If you get stuck, need help sourcing, or want us to check what you’ve done, we’ll be walking around to help and answer your questions. Good luck!