Sunday, September 20, 2015

Willow Wood 40-Day Challenge

The bishop has encouraged every member of our ward to step up and receive the full blessings of family history work. Participate in the Willow Wood 40-Day Challenge by having each member of your family 1) find the name of at least one ancestor and 2) take that name to the temple to perform an ordinance during the week of October 15th.

Start by committing yourself to this goal and pick one of the four following ways to get started.  The Lord will bless your efforts and you will come to know the “additional joy of receiving both halves of the blessing of Temple and Family History work”.

The following links should provide you with all of the information you need to get started.

If you would like additional help, we have also created three more ways to help you achieve your goal and receive the promised blessings:

  1. CONTACT Any of our Family History Consultants 
    • Craig or Terry Salmon - (801) 712-2923 -
    • Annie Page, Tracey Bryant, Doug Jessop
    • All Teachers and Mia Maids have been called and set apart to help:
      • Sage Acord, Sophia Gardner, Haley Phelps, Mikayla Savage, Ellie Tracy, Josh Beckman, Gavin Burningham, Sam Burningham, Tom Page, Brevin Smith, and Austin Walker
  2. JOIN US Any Sunday
    • Family History Class - 3nd overflow during 2nd hour OR
    • Immediately after 3-hour block for individual consulting (3rd overflow)
  3. ASK Your Home Teachers or Visiting Teachers
    • There is a special lesson that your home teachers and/or visiting teachers can prepare for their September visit.

Class Notes on Photos & Videos

In addition to the class notes that follow, I have prepared detailed instructions on how to digitize all family memories here:
How to Preserve Your Own Digital Materials

PREPARATION - Bring pictures, scrap box, framed photo, negatives, scrapbook, etc.

  1. Make a list of all the "stuff" you're saving for family history --
Photos, Videos, Snapchats, FB Posts, Blogs, Selfies, Old Home Movies, Documents, Certificates, Report Cards, Kindergarten Art, Family pictures, vacation videos
  1. Highlight the Pictures

Begin with the end in mind - What do you want to do with each one? Each group?
PRESERVE / ORGANIZE - Acid free paper, CD / DVD, photos / negatives, slides - long lasting (cool, dry)
  • Multiple locations
  • Never one hard drive or one cloud
  • Online / Cloud
    • Filesharing (Google Drive, MS One Drive, Dropbox,
      • Mirroring, autobackup
    • Photos (Snapfish, Picasa,
    • Filenaming (future generations, organizing)
    • Albums (deconstruct, reconstruct?)

INCORPORATE - Tie to family tree, Crest, (FamilySearch handout)

SHARE - Throwback Thursday, Jigsaw Puzzle, Mosaic, Greeting Card, Coloring Book, Online Sharing Apps (Handout / comparison)
  • Digitize (DPI/pixels, format, size (dimension & file)),
  • Photo Scanning (Allen's, Costco, Family History Center) Photocopy?
  • Access, View, Edit (Professional to Amateur - Photoshop, Picasa,
  • Printed photobooks

NO "ALL-IN-ONE" SOLUTION - May have to use multiple methods


Covert old VHS to DVD
  • Store online (at least in two places
  • Use source closest to original (8mm if you have them)

Save original - work/edit/clip/color correct copies

Frame grab photos (or take original film (8mm) to Allen's for enlargement)

Have a family movie night where everybody brings their oldest videos and serve popcorn

.VOD - Rip

Demonstrate Premiere Pro

Collect videos from phone & categorize / share online - Smugmug

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Involving Others in Family History

Older "traditional" genealogists
Younger "tech savvy" online socialites
It is no coincidence that FamilySearch and other tools have come forth at a time when young people are so familiar with a wide range of information and communication technologies. Your fingers have been trained to text and to tweet to accelerate and advance the work of the Lord—not just to communicate quickly with your friends. The skills and aptitude evident among many young people today are a preparation to contribute to the work of salvation.
This link provides a series of 3-5 minute videos about topics like:
  • Cousin Bait (fishing the Internet)
  • Start old school: searching and priming Message Boards
  • Writing that perfect message board query
  • Do you need more email
  • Facebook isn't just for cat videos
  • Twitter: Genealogy in 140 characters
  • Pinterest - Visualizing Genealogy
  • Searching for Blogs about your ancestors
  • Create your own blog

Message Boards
Genforum Message Boards:
Cyndi's List Message Board & Queries:

Email Lists
Rootsweb Email Lists:

Technology for Genealogy:


Pinterest Pinterest Boards:

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Youth Temple Challenge - Getting Started

In front of more than 4,000 youth at the 2014 RootsTech conference in Salt Lake City this past February, Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles issued a challenge: “My challenge for you is to prepare as many names for the temple as you perform baptisms in the temple.” At the same conference a year later his message was essentially the same...adding only the following eight words "...and help someone else do the same."

See highlights from Elder Andersen's presentation.
The challenge can be broken down into four simple steps:
1. Accept the challenge.
2. Find a family name.3. Go to the temple.
4. Share with others.

All youth can learn more about the challenge, make use of a number of helpful online tools and accept Elder Andersen's challenge by vising a special website created just for this purpose at


Sunday, August 30, 2015

Class Notes - "The Dash"

Key Links & Tools:

Brian's Teaching Notes:

Mankind has told stories since the beginning. They are used to
Teach - tortoise and the hare
Entertain - Shakespeare
Really good stories do both…and make us feel.

The problem with Family History stories is that we:
  1. Try to tell everything we know, and
  2. Think we have to work only from "cold, hard facts"
Let me give an example. In the story of the tortoise and the hare we don't know the names of the tortoise's parents or even where he grew up…because it's not relevant to the story.
In Romeo & Juliet we don't know what year Romeo was born or the names and birthdays of all of Juliet's sisters…because it's not relevant to the story.

Don't confuse Genealogy with Family History. They have different purposes.
DISCUSS: What, then, should be the purpose of Family History stories?

  1. What are the relevant bits of the story
  2. What gives the underlying story meaning
And I would like to add a third item for Family History
  1. What makes the story personal / inspirational / spiritual

Sherry Russon's talk "I was taught from their examples that I can be happy in my trials"

Separate Family History from "the dash". The dash stands alone.

-Event related focus
-Person "                   "
-Location "                "
-Media  "                   "
*Wedding (Addie's video
  (Wedding pictures of ancestors
-Digitize (all videos
    (scan pics
   (online and CD,
   (resolution, format
  • Book
-Costco Thumbnails

Key Li/ Thumb Drive
   (Christmas CD
-Printed Copy (Archive
  (book and .PDF audible
-TBT (Throw-back Thursday
-Picture Contest
-Annual Report

(Worksheets for Acord
Games / Quiz
TESTIMONIES (xfer church talks, lessons, missionary letters

I gathered a lot of .PDFs and .DOCs but what do you do with them? IDK
Record - Mom & Grandma Ella
I have only one recording that has a voice from one of my four grandparents.
When I was in Virginia I was doing some family history. I sent letters to my grandma during my mission and asked her to write some stuff down. I think I gave her a tape recorder during one of my visits home.
<<Grandma Ella History.mp3>>
PROJECT: - I'm going to use that audio and create a movie with pictures, maps, etc. to let my Grandma tell the story while I back it up with interesting visuals.

Organize Family Movies
Transfer to DVD
Create Clips, Tag & Upload to family media site

Now that I have all those assets, now what?

Saturday I ran across this clip that I had seen before but never really considered and it prompted a completely new project for me.

ASK Your thoughts on the impact of that video?
ASK - What was the name of the grandma? When / where was she born?
   …because it's not relevant to the story.
ASK Any ideas what my project might be?
   - imagine a simple tool that would allow you to introduce your grandparents to their great-great-grandchildren.

One of the ways Family History has changed my life is its ability to not only learn about my ancestors but to seriously consider what message / memories I want to leave to my posterity.
 - A Tale of Two Legacies
       - One of my ancestors likes to say "It takes a big dog to weigh a ton" (I don't think
       - Funeral story / Warm doughnuts @ MTC

  - Precede by telling my story of how the Book of Mormon changed my life (Jacob 1:12)

Take your favorite scripture / story & match it with a favorite picture of a favorite person.
Pull Family History into every gospel topic / lesson / personal progress / journal entry
   - add a Family History element -- "When I think of Faith, I think of my third great grandmother Frost and how she…
   - record your thoughts and share them in a meaningful way

Pinterest Idea below

Technology - Facebook Timeline -
   I simply ask, why do you think we have that kind of technology in our time?

Pinterest-type squares  with pictures of ancestry along with quote, or favorite scripture - Pinterest - Laugh with 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

How to Find Family Names to Take to the Temple Using

A previous post on this blog shows how you can find family names to take to the temple using FamilySearch.

This article shows how you can find family names to take to the temple using a sister program of FamilySearch called

Puzilla is free to all LDS members and requires you to log into your FamilySearch account in order to work so the first step would be to go to and click on the "Sign-In" button in the top right corner. This will immediately take you to the FamilySearch sign-in screen with which you are already familiar. Log into FamilySearch. (If necessary, click the following link to learn how to create your FamilySearch login.)

Rather than re-creating a detailed blog, the best way to introduce Puzilla and explain how to use it to find family names to take to the temple would be simply to watch their video introduction. After watching the video and finding your own names to take to the temple, you can also watch this great video overview of the process of preparing names for temple ordinances, click here.

Click the following link to watch the introduction video on Puzilla.

How to Find Family Names to Take to the Temple Using Tools in FamilySearch

This post is designed to help individuals and families prepare family names to take to the temple using Family Search. For a great video overview of the process of preparing names for temple ordinances, click here.

The rest of this post provides details on two of the more basic ways you can find family names to take to temple.

METHOD ONE - Using FamilySearch to find names that are already in your immediate tree.

Step One: Log into FamilySearch. (Click the following link to learn how to create your FamilySearch login.)

Step Two: Click on the "Temple" tab at the top of the screen and select the "Opportunities" option from the pull-down menu. You will be taken to a new page and after a few minutes the website will update the numbers at the top of the screen to show all of your temple work currently in process.

If FamilySearch finds any temple ordinances in your family tree within your first five generations of ancestors, they will show up under the "Opportunities". (Note the 7 Opportunities shown in the above screen capture.) Click the "Opportunities" tab to display a list of all the names in your family tree that are all ready for you to take to the temple.

Step Three: Click the following link for detailed instructions on what you need to do to reserve those names and prepare them to take to the temple.

Method One shows the easiest way to find the low-hanging fruit already waiting in your family tree. If you were not able to find any opportunities using this first method, don't despair. Try the next method to see what names may already wait for you in more distant generations of your family tree.


METHOD TWO - Using FamilySearch to find names beyond the first five generations of your ancestors.

The previous method only provides opportunities in your family tree looking back five generations from the individual logged into your family tree. Use this method to look for opportunities that are all ready for you to take to the temple that don't automatically show up in the previous method.

Step One: If you haven't already done so, log into FamilySearch. (Click the following link to learn how to create your FamilySearch login.)

Step Two: Click on the "Family Tree" option from the top of the page and select the "Tree" option to display your family tree. You should see your family tree with the starting point set for the person who is currently logged in to FamilySearch. (I like using the landscape mode option as highlighted in green in the following screen shot.)

On the right side of the displayed family tree there are gray arrows that indicate additional ancestors. Clicking on any of these arrows will expand the family tree to reveal the next two generations of ancestors from that couple (if additional information is available).

Step Three: Pick any line and expand your family tree looking for any green temple icons towards the right side of any displayed couple.

Note: The initial view of the family tree shows the root individual (their kids, if any, are on the left) and their parents and grandparents are on the right. Counting the root individual, the parents, and the grandparents make up 3 generations. Clicking on any of the arrows shown on the right will reveal two more generations (for a total of five generations). Any individual up through the fifth generation of ancestors should have shown up automatically using Method One stated previously.

Step Four: Click on any green temple icons you find to show any temple ordinances that may need to be completed. - Click the following link for detailed instructions on what you need to do to reserve those names and prepare them to take to the temple.

Note: As shown in the following chart, the different colors of the temple indicate different levels of progress. You are looking for opportunities highlighted by the green temple icon (shown in #2 below).
Note: Depending on your how familiar you are with FamilySearch, you could easily follow the yellow temple icons to provide additional information, rule out potential duplicated efforts, or research other options to convert many of the opportunities indicated by the yellow temple icons. Doing so would turn these yellow icons green and would create additional names you could take to the temple. However, it is beyond the scope of this post to provide any additional instruction on how to turn names highlighted with yellow icons into green opportunities.

If you were not able to find any opportunities using this first two methods, don't give up yet. There is another fairly easy approach to finding family names to prepare for temple ordinances. The next approach uses a sister-program of FamilySearch called Puzilla and is sure to uncover the names of many of your ancestors who are still waiting for their temple work to be completed.

Click the following link to learn how to Find Family Names for the Temple using