Finding Records, Getting Started in Family History, Memories, Online Family History


I’m lucky because I get the opportunity to work with other people interested in family history quite frequently.  I had that opportunity just this morning.  I met with a lady who’s a little older than I am.  She’s had some health challenges and wants to make sure she leaves a legacy for her family.

She told me about her grandfather, who came to the US from Germany right before WWII.  She’s one of the last people in her family to have known him, to have heard his stories.  She decided that she was going to write down those stories for her children.

I shared with her one of my favorite FamilySearch features, Memories.


Memories allows you to preserve and share photos, stories, documents, audio and video.  It also has a search feature, so that others can find images which have been preserved by distant relatives.

Another lady I’ve been working with used to work at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.  Over the years, she’s written incredible articles about her ancestors.  She’s been uploading them as memories.  Now her extended family can partake in her detailed accounts of those who’ve gone before.

I’ve uploaded records for my family too.  Here’s a will for Joseph Boxwell, a Revolutionary War soldier.  Memories even has its own search page, so you can search for memories others have shared.  For unique names like Boxwell or Lantzy, many of the memories are of my relatives.

Try searching4ancestors at FamilySearch’s memories section.  You never know what you’ll find!


European Family History, Online Family History

Swedish Family History



The Family History Library and FamilySearch are offering two webinars on Swedish research this week.

Using Swedish Household Exams and Parish Registers parts 1 and 2 are offered March 31st

You can access the webinar through this link:

This is a wiki article explaining what’s covered in the Swedish Household Exams

And this is a wiki article explaining what’s covered in the Swedish Parish Registers (I think)

I don’t know a thing about Swedish research, but the Family History Library offers webinars every month.  And this is the next one!

If you can’t make it to the webinar, but you’d like to learn more about Swedish research, you can check out the this Guide to Swedish Research.

Best of luck searching4ancestors!

Online Family History

Searchable Newspapers at the Library of Congress

I’m currently taking a free genealogy class through The University of Strathclyde.  It is offered through FutureLearn.  And it amazing!

One of the great features of the course is that learners are encouraged to teach each other through message boards.  I’ve been doing Family History for almost 30 years, and I’m blown away by how much I have learned over the past 2 weeks.

One of my fellow students, a retired lady from DC who worked in the Archives, shared a link to the Library of Congress’ Newspaper Archives.

I have a subscription to a pay site.  I’m very frugal, but my husband suggested I do it in search of information about my father.  The pay site is a little sneaky with the cost, which I do not appreciate…at all!  So when I heard about the Chronicling America through the LoC, I was excited to try it.  10 minutes later, I’ve learned a lot about my Great Uncle, Theodore Ringler.


Theodore and his brother (my Great Grandfather), Sylvester, ended up in an Civil War Orphan’s home.  I’ve had a terrible time finding out anything about Theodore.  I have his birthdate from the Civil War Pension file…and I’ve found him on 1 Census record.  That’s it.  From Chronicling America, I now have hints that he served during the Spanish-American War.  I also found this German language newspaper article about him!

The article answer a 20 year search to confirm or eliminate the family lore that Theodore drowned in a canal.  Ends up, he did die by drowning.  And thanks to this news article, I now know the location and date of death.

Not bad for 10 minutes trying a new resource.

I am excited to explore Chronicling America further as I go searching4ancestors!

Family Search, Finding Records, Online Family History

Finding Records for Your Region

Another thing I love about FamilySearch is it allows you to immediately narrow your search by region.

One of my family names is Lantzy.  They settled in Pennsylvania after arriving from Wallbach, Canton Aargau, Switzerland in 1816.  Since I have a surname and a state, I can go straight to FamilySearch’s Search Page and scroll down to the map.


When you click on a region, it will highlight and show you the subdivisions.  So for the US, I’ll see states.  For Canada, I’ll see provinces.  For Europe, I’ll see countries.


When I click Pennsylvania, I see that there are 131 MILLION searchable names just for the state of Pennsylvania.  Amazing!  After I click, I go to a page specifically for that location.


As you can see, not only do I get a search window specifically for Pennsylvania records, but on the right, I also get Learning Center videos to help me learn to research records in Pennsylvania.

Using the map to narrow down my search works the same way internationally as it does for the US.  If I click Canada, I see provinces.  If I click Europe, I see countries.

The Learning Center is an amazing resource, whether you’re brand new to family history or are looking to take your skills to the next level.


You can search the Learning Center by country or by topic.  There are amazing resources to help you be more successful searching4ancestors.

Best of luck searching4ancestors!