Monday, February 2, 2015

My Favorite 10th Cousin, Part I

John and I enjoy watching movies together.  We often leave a movie asking, "Where have we seen him before?"  Sometimes an actor might resemble another; other times, an actor's voice or name might remind us of another.  For example, I constantly confuse one particular actor with both the host of Antiques Roadshow, and the director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  The names Mark Wahlberg, Mark L. Walberg, and Dr. Mack Wilberg are just too similar! 


Years ago, someone realized how much fun it can be linking actors together, and Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon was born.  Fun as that game might be, family history is even more enjoyable.  Family history isn't about faces you see on the big screen (though depending upon your family, I guess it could be), it is your own personal Six Degrees of You game!  It is better than Angry Birds, Candy Crush, or Trivia Crack.  

Today, I'll explain how you can get started (for free!) with your own personal family history, and tomorrow I will tell you how to discover connections you have to well-known (or not so-well-known) individuals--and you will learn who my favorite 10th cousin is!  

Are you ready?  This is going to be FUN!

Go to https://familysearch.org. In the upper right-hand corner, click on "Sign In" (if you have an lds.org or familysearch account), or "Free Account" (if you don't).  Follow the prompts to log in or set up an account.

After you have logged in, probably the best way to get started is to follow the instructions in the Family Tree Quick Start Guide. Navigation to this guide is strangely involved, so let me walk you through it:

Click on Get Help, on the upper right hand side of the main familysearch screen:




Next, click on "Help Center": 


Then, you'll click on Family Tree:


Finally, click on "Getting Started":


That will open a 6-page pdf file detailing how to get your family tree started.  

Don't be discouraged or overwhelmed.  It is quite possible that once you enter some names of deceased relatives, your family tree will suddenly, seemingly self-populate, as it links into information that is already in the system.  

Once that happens, you will be ready for tomorrow's post.  Come back tomorrow and be prepared to play your own 6 Degrees of _______ Game.

Please let me know if you get stuck or need help; I'd be happy to help you get started.

I'm thankful for family history, and how fun it can be.

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8 comments:

  1. This looks so fun Kristi!! I just might need to try this with the kids in our next snow day!!! :)

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    1. It really is fun, and a perfect snowy day activity. Let me know if you need help.

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  2. Several years ago (preInternet) I prepared genealogy books as gifts for my family and oddly didn't save one for myself.

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    1. Maybe someone would let you make a copy now.

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  3. My brother has done extensive genealogy research on my mother's side. I do not have the patience to do what he has done, but I did follow your instructions and got a little family tree started all by myself. Well, with your help. Thanks!

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    1. Oh, you just made my day! (And it's only 7:40 a.m.) Sometimes I wonder, "Is anyone interested? Will this benefit anyone?" You followed my directions (hurray, they worked!) and have your own family tree started--and presumably, you enjoyed doing so. Thanks for letting me know! :-)

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    2. It was fun and your directions were perfect!

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  4. Oh yeah! I had forgotten that you liked family history too. :)

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Thanks for making this a conversation. I love to hear your comments!