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Friday, April 20, 2018

Technology and an Old Lady

I have always loved technology especially in the computer world. Unfortunately, as we get older and all of this computer stuff gets newer, it seems that never the twain shall meet! I always prided myself on keeping up with the new computer programs especially in the field of genealogy. Well, I guess those days are quickly going - going - gone.

I turned 70 last year and still feel young but what I am finding is, I really don't want to keep up with this changing world. Before, I couldn't stand being left behind but now, I pick and choose what I want to learn and what programs I want to change. That old saying, : "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," that's where I am today.

I use two main programs in my researching - Ancestry and Family Search. Both programs have made doing family research almost boring because they tell you where and what you can find by just clicking a button. That is good in one respect but not in another. For me, I will stick to good ole research and proof to do my family history.

What I am finding wrong with these programs is that people today want things so easy that they don't care if what they find is right or wrong, they are told to click here and they do. They see their name so they think what they have found is right. They like this easy world of finding things and are not accustomed to seeking further. Who needs proof?  This is my family name and this is where they lived. So what that the information I found was ten years off or the children in this family don't quite match up to what someone else had. This is my family and I am done!

FamilySearch Tree is a  world wide tree. You don't have to be a member of the LDS faith to use this tree (and it's FREE). If you find a relationship, you just click to add yourself to that family line. It is wonderful - but not so wonderful. I have had so many people in just this last year link up my line to incorrect people. It causes huge problems. Other people will unknowingly come look at this family believing all of this to be correct when in fact, it's not.

I have an ancestor that was married to a Mary. They had five kids. All of a sudden I saw five more kids added to this family. I did the hard work and researched this family thoroughly and have proof that they only had five kids. Mary died in childbirth with her fifth child. Her husband married another lady by the name of Mary a year later. I had this info in notes but no one bothered to read those notes. All of a sudden, second Mary's kids from a previous marriage were now listed as full brothers and sisters to the first five. Never mind that some of the kids were close in age but obviously not twins and that they were born in different locations. No notes were included. Anyone else looking at this family might not realize this problem. With just a little bit of reading and possibly a little research to verify, the person who merged this family would have realized this mistake. But that takes work and time.

This situation is another reason why I use a stand alone program such as Roots Magic. I can (and always do) check my notes carefully before I contact the people that added/deleted/merged family members without documentation. I try to have complete documentation on every name in my file. If I can't prove something, I have a note to myself stating that I don't know where the info came from.

This also was helpful when a lady merged some parents to an ancestor. I did not have any info on the parents of this individual. I was excited when I saw the addition of his parents. There was one piece of documentation but it was about someone totally unrelated (even a different name). So I contacted the lady who submitted the parent's names. Come to find out, she didn't know why she added them. They were a way offshoot to her family line. She had no proof or any notes as to why she added them. Together we decided to unlink these parents until we got some proof.

I do love that we can see who does modify our work in any way so that we can communicate with them if necessary. One lady had my mom deceased, I guess because she was old. I contacted her and gave her the good news that my mom was alive and living with me! She turned 94 this year and is in great health.

Some technical changes are fun. There are fun apps to use on our phones that can tell us if relatives are near us. That helps us perk up some. I was teaching my granddaughter in a Sunday School class a few weeks ago and another girl said, "Hey, we are first cousins!"  I was surprised and when I got home, I checked the relationship only to find that yes, we do connect to the girl's mother's line but it is like five generations back. (A little misinformation) What it did do was excite my granddaughter. Maybe she will have an interest in family history. So far, none of my kids or grand kids show an interest so maybe some of these new programs will excite someone enough to follow in their grandma's footsteps. I just need to make sure that they understand the full meaning of family RESEARCH.

All in all, I do love technology and the new helps in family history but I do caution everyone, make sure that you do your RESEARCH and VERIFY what you find. Don't make changes on anyone's family tree without PROOF.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Mother's Day is around the corner

Don't forget to order your Mother's Day designs so you will have time to make that special gift for Mom. Come to our website and check out all of our fun designs....VINYL GIFTS AND MORE.

The hand print and saying is a fun gift for children to make and give to their mom. We send along easy directions. Using poster paint, make a print of the child's hand and when all is dry, spray a clear coat of varnish. Let that dry then apply the vinyl words. 

We have a variety of other designs suitable for mom. They range from actual  Mother sayings to hobbies and spiritually uplifting messages.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Taking care of Mom

Wow! I just realized that it's been ages since I last wrote. As with all of us, life takes us into different places.

About 4 years ago my mom had a stroke. I stopped everything in my life and went down to take care of her. She was lucky in that she had her stroke at a pharmacy which was located right next door to the fire station. They had her to the hospital within minutes and administered the stroke medicine. She lived in California and I live in North Idaho. The doctor called me and let me know what was happening. I was on a flight to Sacramento the next day.

I have a home business so I had to pack all of the business up into my suitcase (which was interesting in itself). My son is a pilot for a major airline so I was able to catch a flight easily. I was amazed at how everything went together so quickly for me. I was visiting her in the hospital the day after the stroke.

My mom lived alone and was almost 90 at the time of her stroke. I live with my husband. Four of my children live close and my daughter lives in Southern California. I had one brother at the time of my mom's stroke. He was housebound with illness. His wife picked me up from the airport and helped me get settled. My mom also has 1 step daughter that has been close to her but with physical problems of her own. In other words, I was the only one that could help my mom. No problem though as I have always been very close to her and love her dearly.

To make a long story shorter, I stayed with my mom for a couple of months then went home to be with my husband. She called and said she was ready to move to Idaho because she was too lonely there (she'd gotten used to being with me). So I returned to help her pack up a few things, clean out most of her house items and sell the house. It took a couple of months to get it all done. We moved her up to our house (we have a little cottage connected to our main house that we built for my husband's parents - who have now passed on).

My mom loves it here and is thrilled to be around so much family. We love having her here. She pretty much takes care of herself but does eat dinner with us and I check in on her many times during the day. My life has always been very different than hers and she has had to adjust but her age is making it easier for her to do so. She will be 94 in a couple of weeks.

As mush as I love my mom, there are difficulties. She does not drive and is wearing down. She still gets around using a cane but isn't that steady on her feet. He health is actually pretty good. She had to have some major surgery at the beginning of last year but that cleared up most of her problems. I am so grateful to have this time with her.

My biggest problem is that my husband and I really want to take a trip and feel that we can't really leave her here by herself. She doesn't want to be babysat and loves being in her own home as she rests a lot and loves having her own bathroom etc. We have been trying to come up with a plan as to how we can have someone here just in case something happens. I feel that she will be okay (once the snow leaves our place) as we have two sons on either side of us (we all live here on 80 acres). My husband is not so sure about leaving. I keep telling him that I can hop on a plane if there is a problem. He still is not so convinced. I know our daughters-in-law will be happy to check in on her and I would call several times a day.

My life has changed a lot since taking care of mom. I very rarely get to go out alone as I know she loves to get out and I know she needs to get out. My husband and I get some time together but again, we usually invite her along knowing how lonely it can be at home alone. Now my husband is plagued with a variety of illnesses and I have problems with knees, shoulders and back. I feel like we are an old folks home.

I took care of both of my in-laws up until their passing and have learned to be somewhat of a nurse. Taking care of all of us has resulted in a little bit of depression for me. I know the signs and try to pop out of it with a variety of activities (like puzzles and genealogy) but I am really ready to do something else but I can't. I kind of feel pushed and pulled. My husband really wants to go someplace too but he's the one that won't leave mom alone. She is 94 and could possible live several more years. My husband is almost 74 and I honestly don't know how long he will be around. He's had several major health issues that have been extremely close calls for him.

I knew the situation of taking care of parents as we did take care of my in-laws until their passing. They both had Parkinson's - he with the stiffening and her the regular. He was unable to take care of himself at all. He could not roll over or stand or anything. I had to get him out of bed, into a wheelchair, feed him, clean him, etc. She could take care of herself until the end but was frail and had broken her hip before she moved to our place. It was very difficult taking care of the folks because we really were housebound with them. As difficult as it was much of the time, it was an experience I would never trade. We feel truly blessed to have had that opportunity to serve them. Now we have my mom and feel the same blessing.

I love having my mom here and being able to part of her life. For many years we were only able to see each other a couple of times a year. I had prayed to have more time with her before she leaves this earthly state and have been truly blessed with this experience. She is a loving and wonderful mother. I know she feels like she has interfered with our lives but is most grateful to be here with me. She loves her home here (in the cottage). I know we will work something out where we can go on a vacation. Everything always works out in the end.

Being the caregiver for a loved one can be difficult but so rewarding. I know I get a little testy with some things she does. Her reasoning is very slow, her speech is getting stuttery, she thinks she can do things that she no longer can and I see that frustration but I just have to be patient and loving. Sometimes I find myself a little snippy. Yesterday I explained something to her like ten times and then at dinner she asked the question again. I was frustrated because I couldn't get her to understand but eventually she did. I do have to keep reminding myself to be nice. I am grateful to my Heavenly Father for this time with her. My prayers have been answered.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

FH Blog - Boot Camp

I write a newsletter for my church concerning Family History.  I also have a blog that I refer members to but it is actually open to the public.  In my newsletters, I have a section I call Boot Camp. I try to help people with their family history.  So many would like to do family history but have no idea where to begin so these are some very basic lesson and ideas to help everyone with their family history. Remembering that we are actually living our family history now, there are some ideas on what to do now for future generations also.  Even though this blog is directed towards the people in my church and my city, it often will have some interesting information for everyone anywhere.  So HERE is the blog.

Most of my Boot Camp lessons will be referring to Family Search.  It is a wonderful FREE program with  World Wide Family Tree.  The Family Tree is Live - meaning if you add something to it, your relatives all over the world will be able to see it and use it right then.  I know most of us use a variety of Family Trees online but this one is FREE and Live which most are not.  One word of note is that it is mostly for the deceased.  Any living people information will not be viewable to others.  You can put living people into your tree but that will be the only thing others will not be able to see until those living in your tree are deceased. You can add photos, stories, videos, etc. that others will be able to see (for deceased people).  There is an awesome FREE search area and lots of FREE help.  Check out the blog for other information about Family Search.

Friday, May 1, 2015

BOOT CAMP - Lesson 1 - Getting started on Family Tree

I have started a Family History Newsletter for our church (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) in my hometown.  In it I have started having some lessons using the Family Search website and Family Tree (a personal tree just for you and your ancestors and relatives).  This tree is available FREE on  This tree is also in real time so when you add something to your tree, other family members will be able to see it right then.  They can also add to the tree making it so everyone in your family can work together.  Of course, as you add lines to your tree, others will connect to those lines making your family GROW!!!  As I said, this is a completely FREE website - no strings attached.

The newsletter is for people in our ward working in Family History but I thought I would share these lessons with everyone. Family Search also has lessons but this is just another way of looking at things.  I am trying to make the steps very easy and will direct my assignments to very basic steps so as not to make Family History feel so overwhelming.  Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I may not have the answer but I will certainly try to help you or direct you to where you might find help.  I am also posting this on my Family History website  Please feel free to go and check out some of my other information.

BOOT CAMP - LESSON 1 - Getting started on Family Tree

Use these training ideas to help you learn the ins and outs of Family History. 

For additional help, email us at
It helps to have an interest in your family to go from the - Yeah, I love my family - to - I love my family enough to help us be united for eternity.  Help your love for your family grow by getting involved in your family history.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has taken the work out of Family History. Find our family and their information has become so much easier. Today we are going to take the very first step to learning how to do Family History. Some of you may be long past this stage and for you, I encourage you to keep going.  For those of you who have not started doing any kind of research, let's start at the beginning.  This information will also be very helpful for those you are teaching.

We will be working with Family Search and a few sites that will not only be interesting and informative, but also fun. Just click on the highlighted words to get more information as you go along.

This month we will be getting the "feel" for Family Search.  You will get logged on and do some simple exploring before we actually get started on researching. Take some time to look at your family tree and follow through on some of the lessons available.


1. Log onto or sign up for an account.  

To Log on - Go to Family Search home page and in the upper right hand corner (using your LDS account or your Family Search user name and password) click on Sign-In.

To open a new account - Go to the  home page of Family Search in the upper right hand corner and click on Free Account 
or click HERE (watch video) to learn how to sign up.  You do not have to be a member of the church to sign up for an account.  Note:  You will get a message in your email that you will need to confirm to finish the account sign up.  

2.  Now let's learn a bit about using the Family Tree - click HERE for basic instruction on how to use Family Tree.   Practice some of the things taught and be sure to "connect" YOU with your ancestral lines if that has not been done.  If you still do not understand this step, please ask your ward/branch consultant for help, visit your Family History Center, or email me at

NOTE: Family Tree mostly works with deceased people.  If your parents are still living, you will need to manually add them - refer to the instructions given in step #2.

This course will help you get a good start on understanding Family Tree.  We will discuss many of these topics covered in more detail in future newsletters.  HERE is another place to go if you have questions.

by Diane (Sandpoint Stake Family History Consultant)

Monday, April 7, 2014

Italian Records being Indexed

Great news!  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has made an arrangement with the Italian government to film historic genealogical records in exchange, we are indexing those records and they will be made available for everyone to research on the FamilySearch website as soon as they become available.  If anyone out there speaks Italian or would like to assist, check with the Indexing portion of the FamilySearch website for information.

The fun thing about Indexing is that:

1.  You do not need to be a member of the church to help
2.  You do not need to be a member of the church to search the indexed records
3.  The records are available to everyone world-wide FREE
4.  Indexing is very rewarding - you will be contributing to one of the biggest World Wide Service Projects available
5.  You can do it at your own speed in your own time
6.  You can pick your own project (usually just 1 page)
7.  You can send the project back if you don't like it, it's too hard, or you don't have time
8.  You will be helping your family and everyone else in the world unite your/their family
9.  You can access the site anytime day or night from wherever you live
10.  Did I say it was FUN and extremely REWARDING???  Well, it is!

Sign up today and give it a try.  You don't have to do Italian.  There are a variety of languages and types of documents to index.  It costs nothing to check it out (and costs nothing to try).

GO TO and check out the whole site.  There is so much available to you FREE so what are you waiting for.  Search for your family, learn lessons on how to do research, record your family in the world's biggest FAMILY TREE

Friday, February 8, 2013


I am not sure if everyone knows this, but the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints have Family History Centers that are open and available for anyone and everyone to go in and do research for their family lines. I work with the Family History Directors in our area. We are trying to get the word out to everyone that they are WELCOME to come in to the centers. The service is FREE. The facility is FREE. Often the FHC's have classes available or conferences and they are absolutely FREE also.

Family History research has changed over the years. When I started researching my lines, I needed to write tons of letters and make many trips to the Family History Center in my area. I ordered tons of microfilm and microfiche (at a price) to search records desperate to find my family. Today, the Internet has changed all of that. Through the Indexing program with the Church, millions of pages of these same microfilm and microfiche are being digiatlized and indexed to make research so much easier. The LDS church has also provided a website completely FREE to everyone. That helps us not only search for our ancestors but there are FREE classes available for just about every country/subject you may wish to know to assist with this research. You can watch the training videos as often as you want, you can do your research any time of the day (or night), and you can get tons of online help through the Forums and other programs on the site.

The Family History Centers on my area are providing classes once a month in several topics to teach patrons how to use this FREE program (FamilySearch), how to organized their information, and how to use some of the many free websites on the Internet.  Check to see what's going on at your Family History Center.  You can locate the nearest center to you at the FamilySearch website.

If you are hunting for your ancestors and have not been to a Family History Center in your area, you should really go see what is available and have them help you get started with all of the FREE services available to you on the FamilySearch website.

Check it out