Archive for December, 2013

Turning Hearts Genealogy

Turning Hearts Genealogy – Putting Christ Into Your Christmas Genealogy.

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genealogyTurning Hearts Genealogy
Putting Christ Into Your Christmas Genealogy.

The Chaos Called Christmas

It’s that time of the year again in America. The remains of the Turkey have been packaged and stored in the refrigerator to await its various post-holiday reincarnations. The end of Thanksgiving signals the official beginning of the Christmas Season with the advent of Black Friday. In 1966 the Philadelphia Police Department coined the term to describe that dark and desperate day after Thanksgiving when stores reduce their prices, initiating the annual holiday purchasing frenzy that lasts until The Day memorializing the Three Magi delivering their precious gifts to a small child in Bethlehem. And then the feeding frenzy starts all over again as the recipients of these annual gifts return their merchandise for something they really want. Such is the chaos of Christmas that greeted us as we checked out the TV news and weather forecast for our holiday travel home from Grammy’s house this year.

In addition to the television discussions on Black Friday, we were subjected to the seemingly life and death struggle for retail as commerce moved the holiday shopping season to Thanksgiving Day as they invaded this once-safe family haven. As reporters compared Internet vs. Big Box store sales and we mourned the loss of Thanksgiving, we found ourselves numbed by the over 500 listings for special Christmas shows that ran the gamut from affairs of the hearts, tornado disasters, and war deaths to the occasional song fest and re-enactment or more blatantly – reinterpretation of the Nativity. More often than not, many of productions portrayed people overcoming difficult times, and becoming nice and endearing; but almost none of them focused on, and even avoided, mentioning Jesus Christ or the purpose of His mission to mortality that led to the celebration of Christmas.

What Does Christmas Mean To Me?

As I pondered the uproar and discord of what should be the most reverently-regarded time of man’s yearlong pursuits, I focused on the mission of Jesus Christ and what His coming to mortality means to me. I considered how it applied to my activities as a member of the Savior’s Eternal Family.

Jesus Christ came to Earth in the name of, and representing our Heavenly Father. He came to prove Himself as a faithful emissary of God, to take upon Himself the sins of all mankind, and become the Redeemer and Savior for all of Heavenly Father’s Children. In doing this He suffered incredible physical, mental, and spiritual pain, and eventually death to accomplish His Father’s purposes. We know His Living, His Atonement, His Dying, and His Resurrection provide the means for all men to return to God through faith, and grace, and obedience to His Commandments. Whenever I think of this great sacrifice, I realize that while He knew who I was in the vastness of Heaven, as a mortal being two millennia ago He was willing to take upon Himself the incomparable burden of the sins of mankind, including mine, to provide the opportunity and reality of repentance to me and all who have lived, live now or will ever live.

When I think on this, all I can do is to weep for joy and thankfulness that my Savior loves me so much, that He loves us all so much, and that we are all brothers and sisters in this great Family of Man. How can the World be so blind to such a blessing available for all? And I think, how can I be so blind to His sacrifice and not do something to honor His love, His legacy and His covenant?

My Christmas Gift of Genealogy

With this thought in mind, my Christmas gift and goal is to find the information about a Gleason ancestor and his family to provide them with their needed temple work. They lived from the 1820’s to the 1880’s. I have gathered records and documented details about their births, their marriages, and their deaths. I have learned about their occupations, their faith, their earthly sacrifices, and have come to love them through my prayers and faith in my Savior Jesus Christ. I am compiling their family data on family group records to submit them to our family LDS temples where these eternal ordinances can be completed. As my heart turns to my Father in Heaven in prayer, I also ask that my testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ be shared with these beloved family members. Someday, I know I will meet them when I return to the Spirit World after leaving this mortality. I hope to share my love and testimony with them then in person, and receive their love as well.

After all, Christmas isn’t about me or my wants or needs; it is about doing all that I can do to help bring my family back to the presence of our Heavenly Father, through our Savior, Jesus Christ. Christmas is about putting Christ into my genealogy.

Looking for help with hard to find records or genealogical questions? Contact Heirlines Family History and Genealogy, breaking through family history walls for almost 40 years. We professionally identify and document ancestry and kinship relationships and verify and certify the family tree with Certified Family Trees™ and Certified Forensic Genealogy Solutions™. We’re ready when you’re ready!

Give us a call and speak with one of our professional genealogists today.

Call toll free 1-800-570-4049 or visit us at www.heirlines.com

James W. Petty, AG, CG, is the Board-Certified and Accredited Professional Genealogist, “Climbing the Family Tree Professionally, Since 1969”. He is President of HEIRLINES Family History & Genealogy, Inc. (www.Heirlines.com), the “Salt Lake City, Utah BBB Accredited Business” trusted professional genealogy research services firm, providing US and International genealogical and historical research for a world-wide clientele.

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Genealogy Records Worthy of All Acceptance – Part 2

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genealogy records

Finding Reliable Genealogy Records

The Recipe for correct and truthful genealogy records are in the Details: Part 2 of 2

Early family group records filed at the Family History Library provided a small box at the bottom of the sheet for “source information.” The most common source cited was “family records”. This is like describing ingredients to make a chocolate cake as “stuff from the pantry.” Some researchers may think that defining family sources as “family bible”, “letters from cousins”, and “cemetery inscriptions” might be sufficient, but general terms such as these are like defining cake ingredients as chocolate, flour, and oil. Even worse is when the source cited is someone else’s undocumented information, which is like saying “the stuff someone put in my cupboard.” Wow, that doesn’t even sound safe to eat.

Documenting Genealogy Events

Documenting a genealogy event means finding an accurate record or selection of records defining that event. Many if not most historical documents exist because a human being has recorded information. However, all people make mistakes, and it is often necessary, or even wise, to combine several sources to establish an event that is as close to accurate as possible.

An ancestor’s birth may have occurred prior to when government vital records were kept. Consequently, birthdates may be drawn from… a family Bible, a death certificate, a newspaper birth announcement, a church christening record, a census record, a military pension file, a tombstone inscription, school records, driver’s licenses, and dozens of additional possibilities. Each one of these sources were made for a specific reason, which reason can affect the validity of the information. Generally speaking, resources closest to the event, and reflecting the testimony of a witness to the event, primary sources, are the most correct and sought after. Ten researchers could find ten different sources with ten different sets of information about the same event. Each one of those accounts is valuable information if it is considered within the context of the time, place, and people involved.

Citing Your Documents

Once a document has been found, and a copy made, the most important thing a researcher can do is to cite (or record) the reference data about that source. This information should be recorded on the document itself, so that if the record copy or abstract notes are ever separated from the family record, it can still be identified, and also added to the family group record to which that information applies. Citing your documents adds credibility to the research you produce. Commonly, the information that should be included in a citation are:

• Name of the record
• Author’s name
• Source description
• Publication information
• Location of record
• Catalog number for record

Greater detail can be given for source identification, but the goal is to define the source and direct the reader to where the record can be found.
The following are examples of simple (imaginary) citations:

1. Smith County, Arkansas; Recorder of Deeds, Deed Record 1846-1853, Volume 4, pg. 358. (William Jones to Bob Smith). (FHL#642,889)
2. William Gunnison, History of Courtney County, North Dakota, 1866-1979. (Willow Springs Press: Bismarck, ND. 1979)263. (FHL#978.446, H2g)
3. William B. Cherry Family Bible (American Bible Society: Baltimore, MD 1864). Bible in possession of Anna Leigh Cooper, Smithfield, Iowa in 2009.

For detailed instruction on citing record sources, we recommend:
1. Elizabeth Shown Mills, Evidence Explained. (Baltimore, Md: Genealogical Publishing Co. 2007) 885 pp., ISBN: 978-8063-1781-6
2. Board for Certification of Genealogists, BCG Standards Manual. (Orem, UT: Ancestry Publishing. 2000) 125 pp., ISBN: 0-916489-92-2

Documenting your research and citing sources trains a genealogist to be more accurate in their studies. Such training creates good habits. Without such habits a genealogy author may fall victim to the temptation to “convince” his readers that his research findings are justified by using incorrect or even false documentation. I recently studied a published family history that appeared to be well researched, and documented. But on closer examination I discovered that one source pertaining to one person mentioned in the history, was false. The author identified the ancestor as listed in the 1830 Census of Clinton County, Illinois, when in fact the ancestor appeared in the 1830 Census of neighboring St. Clair County, Illinois. This may seem like a small issue, but I found that the source and citation were referred to in on-line correspondence of researchers who hadn’t confirmed the source themselves, and were now passing false information on to others. Remember “Petty’s Paradigm”, when something is published it becomes fact, and when it is quoted it becomes gospel truth. To the unsuspecting this inaccurate and false information can take on a life of its own; and to me, who checked the sources, it meant all of the information in the published history was now suspect. If the author could do this with one person, he may have done it with others. In some ways it would have been better to have never published the book. The ingredients to this chocolate cake weren’t right, and it didn’t taste like it should have.

Preparing a record to be worthy of all acceptation is really a simple matter of taking the time and interest to prepare it properly, that all who see it can accept it as an accurate and truthful document. When we make the effort to prepare our records with this care and interest, we discover that the people for whom we do this work become that much more dear to us. We learn to love them, our hearts turn to them; and in turn that love speaks out through the records we prepare. It is the love for our fathers speaking through our efforts to make such a record, that makes our records worthy of acceptation. The recipe is in the details; and when the details have been properly applied, the result is delicious to all.

Looking for help with hard to find records or genealogical questions? Contact Heirlines Family History and Genealogy, breaking through family history walls for almost 40 years. We professionally identify and document ancestry and kinship relationships and verify and certify the family tree with Certified Family Trees™ and Certified Forensic Genealogy Solutions™. We’re ready when you’re ready!

Give us a call and speak with one of our professional genealogists today.
Call toll free 1-800-570-4049 or visit us at www.heirlines.com

James W. Petty, AG, CG, is the Board-Certified and Accredited Professional Genealogist, “Climbing the Family Tree Professionally, Since 1969”. He is President of HEIRLINES Family History & Genealogy, Inc. (www.Heirlines.com), the “Salt Lake City, Utah BBB Accredited Business” trusted professional genealogy research services firm, providing US and International genealogical and historical research for a world-wide clientele.

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