None Knew Them But to Praise

None Knew Them But to Praise

The generation of my grandparents is rightfully known as The Greatest Generation. They have been so identified because of their sacrifices and contributions during the years of the Great Depression and World War II. We likewise are free with our praise of the Pioneer Generation, those pre-and-post Civil War era ancestors who conquered the West We marvel as well over the Generation of Emigrants who crossed oceans and continents around the turn of the 20th century. In greater measure, we identify our Pilgrim and Puritan ancestors of the Great Migration generations of the 1600s. But as I continue to workClick to continue…

Great Beards in Family History

Great Beards in Family History

Facial hair is not prolific in our family lines. It may be all the missionaries and school teachers we have had over the years or perhaps it just that the manly art of beards and mustaches just isn’t in our gene pool. But on a recent perusal of the gallery feature at FamilySearch.org I began to notice not only that we DO have some beards we actually have some EPIC beards — you know, hall of fame stuff — when it comes to facial hair. Take, for example, this very modern-looking beard from William Rowe: William is the father ofClick to continue…

Photo Forensics in Family History

Photo Forensics in Family History

I have been spending a lot of time in the world of Albert Smith for an upcoming video we hope to release. That, of course, comes with an always challenging effort to find images to help tell his story. The best and perhaps most beloved photo of Albert is this one, showing him late in life with one of his wives: This photo has been mired in controversy for decades. That is most definitely Albert Smith, seated in the chair wearing the checkered suit. But the question comes from the woman pictured — is it Rhoda Gifford Smith or SophieClick to continue…

Getting the Story Right

Getting the Story Right

When I first began using Family Search I was somewhat frustrated with the idea that anyone could edit information on that one-world family tree. To me, the “watch” feature is a critical function of Family Search. I click on “watch” next to any name and if someone comes along and adds or changes something I get notified about it right away. Indeed, I get annoyed with unknown folks making ill-advised changes to data associated with my family members. But over time I have come to see the wisdom of an open-edit record. Not only do we get more complete informationClick to continue…

A Tale of the Old West and Bad Family History

A Tale of the Old West and Bad Family History

Tonight I went fishin’ for a while. I don’t get nearly enough opportunity to do that –“fishin’” as it relates to family history. Here’s how it works: I go to FamilySearch or Ancestry and enter very broad search terms – say, a surname like “Smith”. Then I sort out all the results to drill down to just what I want to see. Sometimes it is birth certificates, sometimes it is census records, sometimes it is just something else. Tonight it was photos. I went to Ancestry and trolled for all photos I could find associated with “Westover”. I got thatClick to continue…