Thursday, March 29, 2007

Nova Scotia Canada Vital Records now online

Another FamilySearch Scanning project is now online. The Vital Records of Nova Scotia Canada have been scanned and indexed and posted online. This was a joint project with Nova Scotia Arcives and Records Management. The index and images can be accessed online free of charge.

Here is the news release:

FamilySearch News Release
27 March 2007

One Million Historical Names from Canada Go Online
Nova Scotia Releases Early Birth, Marriage, and Death Records

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH-Early vital records of Nova Scotia, Canada, are viewable over the Internet for the first time and for free, thanks to a joint project by the Genealogical Society of Utah, FamilySearch, and the Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management (NSARM). The records include one million names found in birth records from 1864 to 1877, marriages from 1864 to 1930, and death records from 1864 to 1877 and 1908 to 1955. Users can search the database at

Nova Scotia is the first province in Canada to digitize all of its historical vital statistics and make them available online. "This project provides key information to researchers on their ancestors," said Genealogical Society of Utah regional manager Alain Allard. "It involves the vital records-births, marriages, and deaths-which are a key record set to find, identify, and link ancestors into family units."

The Genealogical Society of Utah (GSU) first microfilmed most of Nova Scotia's vital records back in the 1980s. In 2005, GSU used FamilySearch Scanning to convert those microfilms to digital images, while at the same time capturing additional vital records with a specially designed digital camera. Volunteers for the Nova Scotia Archives then used the images to create the searchable electronic index, which was completed in 2006.

Anyone can now search names in the index and view a high quality digital copy of the original image online for free at NSARM's Web site, In the near future, the index and images will also be available on Researchers who want to obtain an official copy of a record can do so online through the Nova Scotia Archives. The cost will be CAN$9.95 for an electronic file and CAN$19.95, plus shipping ! ! and t axes, for paper copies.

Nova Scotia Provincial Archivist, W. Brian Speirs, said the cooperation of GSU was crucial to this important project. "Without the Genealogical Society of Utah offering in the early days of the project to provide complimentary digitization of all the records as their contribution to the initiative, the proposed undertaking would have been dead in the water and gone nowhere," Speirs said.

FamilySearch is the public channel of the Genealogical Society of Utah (GSU), a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. FamilySearch maintains the world's largest repository of genealogical resources accessed through, the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, and over 4,500 family history centers in 70 countries.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Linkpendium Genealogy Search Site

Linkpendium is a Family History Search Site which links to over 5 million genealogy web pages. You can search by Surname or by Location.

After entering a Surname you get a list of hits with links sorted by State or Country.

I found links for my Surname in almost every state in the country.

When you do a location search it lists sources of vital records and other sites for that location.
On many of the pages it also provides links to the Family History Library page for that location and I have seen some links to Cyndi's list.

There is a link to Linkpendium at:

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

New FamilySearch Beta 2 - Sources

New FamilySearch is near the end of the Beta2 testing cycle. When it will be released has not been announced. I have had a chance to review some of its features. The first version 0.9 will be released just to Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The next version 1.0 will be for the general public and will give similar fuctions without the Temple Ordinance areas. Then a later version 2.0 will include linking to the images from the scanned documents from the microfilms stored in the Granite Vaults.

New FamilySearch will be released in smaller Temple districts first, so Utah will be the last to get use of the new web site. The new version of FamilySearch will include all of FamilySearch's major databases all linked together into families and pedigrees. The main purpose of this first release is to replace TempleReady. The hope is that this new program will eliminate duplication of Temple work. The main family view shows the selected individual and Spouse Highlighted, with children to the left, and a pedigree to the right which shows the parents and grandparents of both the husband and wife.

Sources are important in this new web site. Uploaded GEDCOM files can include Sources and Notes. The Notes and Sources from the Pedigree Resource File will also be included. All contributions to the file can be reviewed with thier sources and notes.

You can update any information you have submitted and add comments about other peoples submissions. You can add new individuals online and add sources. To add a source you first click on "Select a source" and choose the source type from the drop down list.

You then select the "Source Details" button. A window pops up showing the information about the source you can enter. I am not sure how or if the program ranks some sources higher than other, but I sure hope that in the final version we will be able to rank sources in some way. For example if there are two submissions listing sources, and one lists "Personal Knowlege" as a Source and the other lists a "Death Certificate", it would be nice if we can go in and rank the Death Certificate as a better source then the Personal Knowlege. We will have to wait and see what the final version does in this area. I did not see any user method of ranking sources in the Beta2 version. So get your sources in line so you will be ready for new FamilySearch.

I congratulate the FamilySearch developers for a wonderful job, and hope to see the site available soon.

I plan to do more reviews on different elements of new FamilySearch so check back.
Here is a link to my New Family History site which has a link to 50 screen shots of new FamilySearch beta2.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Pedigree Resource File Updated

FamilySearch announced yesterday 12 Mar 2007, that the Pedigree Resource File (PRF) database has reached 150 million names. They also announced that the PRF now has a new feature, which allows you to view pedigrees from within the index.

By clicking on the Pedigree link in the upper right corner of an individuals page you can view the family in Pedigree view.

Patrons will still have to use the CD's to download information or see sources and notes that were submitted by patrons. If a submission contains Sources or Notes the CD disk number will be shown at the bottom of the individual page. I have noticed that most submissions do not contain sources and that some of the source citation listed turn out to not be good sources, but many do have useful information for those trying to verify their information or extend their family lines.

Patrons of FamilySearch are encouraged to submit their family history to the PRF so others working on the same lines can work together to avoid duplication of effort. Be sure to include your source citation with your citations.

The entire PRF with its sources and notes will become a part of new.FamilySearch when it is released later this year. All the names in PRF will then be linked in Families and Pedigrees with the names from the IGI, the Ancestral File, the Census indexes, all future extracted records from the Granite Vaults, and any future submissions by patrons of FamilySearch.

Monday, March 5, 2007

FamilySearch Indexing

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has a new web site where people interested in assisting in the indexing of the Churches collection of microfilmed vital records can go to help.

At the site you can review the projects available to index.

By selecting a project you can get more details about a project.

Instructions and samples of the images are available, including training lessons.

The average batch takes between 1/2 hour and 1 hour to index. The Church is looking for people to help index the 2.4 million rolls of microfilm stored in the Granite Vaults. Sign up now.

FamilySearch Scanning - Scanstone

In the Granite Vaults up Little Cottonwood Canyon lies the worlds largest collection of Family History Vital records on 2.4 million rolls of microfilm. The Scanstone project is a program of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to make those records more accesible by scanning the microfilms and making them available online at See this news release:

The microfilms can now be scanned using new high speed scanners.

Images are stored on servers with backup copies stored in the Granite Vaults.

After the images are indexed they will be made available free on the FamilySearch web site.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Arizona Birth and Death Certificates Online

The State of Arizona now has available online, Birth Certificates for births in Arizona from 1887-1930 and Death Certificates for deaths in Arizona from 1878-1955. These certificates are available at:

After entering the name you are searching for you get a list of hits.

Select the name from the list of hits and the image is opened. You can print or save the image.

Many of the images you download need to be straightened and cropped. I use Picasa, a free photo editing program from Google. Some of the images are stored in PDF files and I use Photoshop Elements to edit those files.

Check out this site.

LDS Tech Web Site

A new technology web site by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is available at:

This site is designed to introduce the public to the technology used by the church.

"What is LDS TECH?"

"With the global reach of the Church, members from around the world are curious about the type of technical work we do. This web site is designed to give you a glimpse into that work and how you can get involved." Tom Welch, Manager Technology Community

The site introduces the people who work for the Church information department. It contains links to blogs by many of the Church information workers.

The site contains forums where people can discuss and ask questions about Chruch Technologies. Subjects include: Family History, Online Scriptures, Unit Web Sites, MLS, LDS.ORG, Technology Web Site, Current Church Technology, and Help Wanted.

Check it out.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Utah Death Certificates

The State of Utah in conjunction with FamilySearch Indexing have completed a project of extracting digital images of Death Certificates for deaths in Utah between 1905 and 1954. These images have now been linked to the States death index and are available online at the Utah State Arcives web site at:

After entering the name of the person you are looking for and selecting the correct match on a couple of follow up screens, you will see a summary of the death and an image icon.

By clicking on the image Icon the Death certificate will be opened and can be saved by clicking on your right mouse button and select "Save picture as"

Many images need to be straightened and cropped. I use Picasa which is a free photo editing program from Google. It is easy and quick. Have fun finding your ancestors certificates.