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The Genealogue

FamilySearch Blog

Discover your personal and family heritage

New Languages available on

2020. december 2., szerda 8:00:07

One of FamilySearch’s goals is to help people worldwide discover how they are connected in the human family’s shared Family Tree. Now, it will be even easier for people to use FamilySearch’s resources.

Throughout 2020, FamilySearch has become available in 20 additional languages. These languages bring the total count of FamilySearch’s supported languages to 30. With these newly available languages, you can add family members to the family tree, explore historical documents, record memories, and more!

What Are the Newly Available Languages?

Previously, FamilySearch was available in 10 languages:

Family of four watching the sunset together in a field.

The following languages have become available this year:

Colorful buildings in Prague.

All these languages are available on the browser version of They are also available on the FamilySearch Family Tree app as long as the language is supported by the user’s phone.

How Do I Set My Preferred Language on

Changing your preferred language on is easy. The site automatically sets the language to the same language as the web browser, provided that the language is one supported by FamilySearch; however, if the browser language is not your preferred language, it’s easy to switch.

Scroll to the bottom of the FamilySearch page. On the left side is a small globe icon with the selected language next to it. Clicking this link opens a pop-up with a list of available languages. Select the preferred language, click Apply, and the page will refresh—this time in the selected language.

The FamilySearch Help Center has more information. Be sure to check it out if you need it!

Friends speaking with one another.

Explore FamilySearch in Your Language

If you haven’t created a FamilySearch account yet, now is the perfect time. It’s free, and an account allows you to explore your ancestors’ lives in new and unique ways. Pick your preferred language, create an account today, and start exploring what FamilySearch has to offer!

The Baby Boomer Generation—Birth Years, Characteristics, and History

2020. november 25., szerda 18:14:40

The “Baby Boomer Generation” refers to people who were born during the years following World War II. Though the term “baby boomer” wouldn’t be used for this generation until 1963, the boomers were the largest generational group in the United States until very recently.

Note: The review of the Baby Boomer Generation and other generations mainly apply to the United States. Globally, countries often have different names and ways of defining generations.

When Was the Baby Boomer Generation?

Although there is some variation depending on the birth years that comprise the Baby Boomer Generation, a widely accepted range is 1946–1964. This range is used by the Pew Research Center. The parents of the baby boomers were members of the Silent Generation and the Greatest Generation.

baby boomer couple on the beach

What Is the Baby Boomer Generation Known For?

Baby boomers got their name from a phenomenon known as the baby boom. This boom was a spike in birth rates after World War II. In the United States, around 3.4 million babies were born in 1946, more than ever before in United States history. This trend continued, with 3 to 4 million babies being born each year from 1946 to 1964. These births led to a total baby boom population of nearly 72.5 million, the largest generational cohort in the United States at the time.

What Caused the Baby Boom?

This rapid rise in births is attributed to many causes. In some cases, those who wanted families had waited until after the war was over to have children. By this time, the Great Depression’s economic turmoil and the war were finally subsiding. Soldiers returned home ready to start families and hoped to provide a better life for their children. Through the G.I. Bill, many veterans were afforded economic and educational opportunities, allowing them to own homes and support children.

Baby Boomer Characteristics

couple holding hands in woods

While there is no one way to describe an entire generation of people accurately, here are some general characteristics that tend to be seen in baby boomers:

  • Baby boomers value relationships. As they grew up, there was a growing belief in the value of spending time with family and friends. This belief was in part due to economic growth and increasing labor laws, which led to more free time.
  • Baby boomers are goal centric. They were raised with the idea of the American dream, and they push themselves to reach their goals.
  • Baby boomers are self-assured. This generation has confidence in themselves and their abilities. They influenced the culture of the nation greatly, and they believe that hard work makes a difference.
  • Baby boomers are resourceful. During their lifetime, members of the baby boomer generation have witnessed some of the greatest technological advances in history, and they often have learned to use the resources available to them. Baby boomers often learn to fix things themselves.

Their Slice of History

The Korean War and the Vietnam War

During their childhood, baby boomers witnessed the Korean War as well as rising tension in Vietnam. They witnessed the effects of those conflicts early in life. When they reached adulthood, many served their country in the Vietnam War. During this time, some baby boomers also participated in the antiwar movement. They were certainly no strangers to national conflict.

Civil Rights Movement

civil rights image

Baby boomers grew up during the height of the civil rights movement. Many young men and women of this generation were influenced by great civil rights activists. The movement promoted legal equality and led to greater tolerance during the adulthood of the baby boomers.

Berlin Wall

Sputnik, Space, and Education

In 1957, Sputnik was launched into orbit, and the world marveled at the accomplishment. The Sputnik could be seen whizzing across the night sky. This achievement induced a radical change in the education system in the United States. Many felt that the education system had fallen behind, and a new emphasis was put on science and mathematics.

The government began investing huge amounts of resources into research and developing new technologies. This investment opened new opportunities for baby boomers to innovate and change the world of technology. Over a decade later, they witnessed the moon landing.

The Berlin Wall

During their lives, many baby boomers saw almost the entirety of the Cold War. They were born during a period of high tension between the United States and Russia. Many were children when the Berlin Wall was constructed in August 1961 and would have heard the famous line “Ich bin ein Berliner” proclaimed by President Kennedy. Many would also later witness the destruction of the Berlin Wall in November 1989.

Technological Advancement

Baby boomers were born into a world of black and white television and now live in the age of Wi-Fi, smartphones, and machine learning. Many of the earliest computer-age innovators are baby boomers, such as Steve Jobs and Bill Gates.

Which Baby Boomers in Your Family Influenced You?

Share the stories of the baby boomers in your family and ask them about their experiences during these pivotal times in history.

You can also compare what life is like today with the life they were born into by trying the “All about Me” discovery experience. Either sign into your FamilySearch account, or use the guest experience to compare the population, award-winning music and media, and other world information of today with the same information from the time of the baby boomers.

Free Printable Family Tree Templates and Online Family Tree Ideas

2020. november 24., kedd 19:14:16

Want to display your family story in a fun, creative way? The following free family tree templates will help you do just that. These family tree ideas not only look great on the wall, but filling out the family tree charts is a great activity to bring the whole family together!

Printable, Free Family Tree Templates

Print one or more of the family trees below, and fill out the boxes with your family names. For help on how to make a family tree online, skip to the bottom for information on FamilySearch’s family tree maker.

How to Make a Family Tree Chart Online

You don’t need to print family tree to record your family history. FamilySearch offers a wonderful free family tree maker you can access right from the app store or from your browser!

The FamilySearch Family Tree provides an easy online template for recording your genealogy. After filling out some basic information about your family (we recommend starting with the first four generations), you can view your family tree in several ways, including as a genealogy fan chart or basic pedigree chart. You can even print your online family tree chart!

Other Online Family Tree Ideas

For some other creative family tree ideas, you can check out our online family tree template activity that pulls directly from your FamilySearch family tree. All you need is a FamilySearch account (create one for free!) and a few names added to your family tree. FamilySearch will automatically generate a family tree image that you can print from home.

What Did the Pilgrims and Native Americans Eat at the First Thanksgiving?

2020. november 23., hétfő 22:35:08

Every year in November, many people in the United States gather with family for a giant feast. The traditional meal includes turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, glazed carrots, green bean casserole, macaroni and cheese, rolls—you name it. All the things the first Pilgrims and the native Wampanoag ate back in the year 1621, right?

Of course, we know that isn’t exactly accurate. For one thing, macaroni and cheese is definitely not a traditional Thanksgiving food, nor did the Pilgrims and Wampanoag have oven-safe dishes for baking green-bean casseroles. Or marshmallows. So, what did the Pilgrims eat during that very first Thanksgiving? Let’s take a deeper dive. The answers might surprise you.

1. Turkey

family at thanksgiving dinner looking at turkey

There’s a good chance the Pilgrims and Wampanoag did in fact eat turkey as part of that very first Thanksgiving. Wild turkey was a common food source for people who settled Plymouth. In the days prior to the celebration, the colony’s governor sent four men to go “fowling”—that is, to hunt for birds. Did they come back with any turkey? We don’t know for sure, but probably. At the very least, we know there was a lot of meat, since the native Wampanoag people who celebrated with the Pilgrims added five deer to the menu.  

2. Mashed Potatoes

mashed potatoes

Keep dreaming. At the time the Pilgrims celebrated their first Thanksgiving, most Europeans had never even seen a potato, let alone learned to mash them and drown them in gravy. Same goes for the Wampanoag. The history of the potato is as long as it is glorious and deserves its own article, to be sure. But to make a long story short, potatoes come from the high Andes of South America and weren’t really cultivated in North America until the 1700s. So, no, cross it off your list—mashed potatoes are not an original Thanksgiving side dish.

3. Cranberry Sauce

cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie

By fall 1621, the Pilgrims were essentially out of sugar. Translation—no cranberry sauce. Even with sugar, the Pilgrims still wouldn’t have used it to sauce cranberries. That’s because the tart little berry was new to them. Native Americans made dyes out of cranberries. But the day when the first man or woman would combine sweetened cranberries with a mouthful of stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, and white turkey breast in one satisfying, jaw-stretching bite was somewhere in the future.

4. Corn

corn with butter

It’s very, very likely the Pilgrims and Wampanoag ate corn for the first Thanksgiving—but not the frozen kind that you heat up in the microwave (obviously). Nor was it the boiled kind, the cobbed kind, the pudding kind, or the cornbread kind with little bits of sausage in it that only your great-aunt Suzie knows how to make. The corn the Pilgrims and Wampanoag most likely ate for dinner that day was the mushy, turned-into-a-thick-porridge kind that you slurp down with a spoon—or a finger, if that’s all you’ve got. From our perspective, nearly half a millennium later, corn porridge doesn’t sound especially good. But apparently if you mix in some molasses, it isn’t that bad.

5. Pumpkin Pie

pumpkin pie on table

Pilgrims liked pumpkins. According to accounts, they used to hollow them out, fill them with milk and honey to make a custard, and then roast the orange orbs in hot ashes. But when it came to making pies, the Pilgrims were essentially out of luck. You need butter and wheat flour to make a crust, and in 1621, the Pilgrims didn’t have much of either.  

6. Lobster

crawdads/lobster at thanksgiving

You probably don’t eat lobster for Thanksgiving—but the Pilgrims and Wampanoag might have. In fact, food historians speculate that much of the meal must have consisted of seafood. One of the colonists, a man named Edward Winslow, described the setting around his Plymouth home in this way: “Our bay is full of lobsters all the summer and affordeth variety of other fish; in September we can take a hogshead of eels in a night with a small labor, and can dig them out of their beds all the winter. We have mussels . . . at our doors. Oysters we have none near, but we can have them brought by the Indians when we will.”

So, to the question “What did the Pilgrims eat for Thanksgiving,” the answer is both surprising and expected. Turkey (probably), venison, seafood, and all of the vegetables that they had planted and harvested that year—onions, carrots, beans, spinach, lettuce, and other greens. Was it good? Most experts agree that it must have been delicious; otherwise, it wouldn’t have become one of the most famous traditions of all time.

What about You?

Little girl eating corn at thanksgiving

Are you surprised to learn that the Pilgrims and their Wampanoag neighbors ate seafood and venison for Thanksgiving? Don’t be. This is the Big Feast we’re talking about—and adding your own personal twist to the traditional meal is, well, part of the tradition!

What are your family’s favorite Thanksgiving dishes? Have you ever taken a picture or recorded the recipe and uploaded it to If so, you’re doing family history, which, by definition, is an awesome thing to do.

Go to Memories to get started. 

1930 United States Census Records: A Research Guide

2020. november 21., szombat 19:10:00

The 1930 census was the 15th federal census taken by the United States, which has taken a census each decade since 1790. These 1930 census records included the 48 states then in the United States as well as Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the Panama Canal Zone, the Virgin Islands, and Washington, D.C.

Enter a name below to search for your ancestors in United States 1930 census records.


What Made the 1930 Census Distinctive?

girl standing outside

The 1930 Census Records of Unemployment

The 1930 census day was April 1. Sadly, the stock market had crashed just six months before, and the nation was in the depths of the Great Depression. The government had hoped to collect unemployment statistics with this census; however, the census had no questions regarding employment. Though there was a rushed attempt to collect unemployment information in an added sheet of questions, the numbers reported were determined to be too low. Congress later required a special unemployment census to be taken in January 1931.

Although the unemployment information gathered with the 1930 census was later found to inaccurately reflect the seriousness of the unemployment problem, it still provides worthwhile information to review. Enumerators were instructed to fill out an additional sheet of questions for all gainful workers who were not at work on the workday before the enumeration date. Some of the questions included the following:

  1. Does this person usually work at a gainful occupation?
  2. Does this person usually have a job of any kind?
  3. How many weeks since he has worked at that job?
  4. Why was he not at work yesterday?
  5. How many days does he work in a full-time week?
  6. Is he able to work?
  7. Is he looking for a job?

New Questions

Four new questions were added to this federal census. These new questions included the value of the home or how much was paid in rent, the age at the time of the first marriage, which (if any) war did a person participate in, and whether the occupants of the home owned a radio.

Changes in Enumerating Active-Duty Servicemen

For the first time, servicemen were not recorded with their families. Instead, they were treated as residents of their duty stations.

Veteran Information Collected

Questions 30 and 31 pertained to veterans of the United States military or naval forces who had been mobilized for any war or expedition. If a person was a veteran of a conflict, he was asked to name which conflict he had been in. Enumerators entered “WW” for World War I, “Sp” for the Spanish-American War, “Civ” for the Civil War, “Box” for the Boxer Rebellion, “Phil” for the Philippine Insurrection, or “Mex” for the Mexican Expedition.

Can You Read and Write?

It is interesting to note that the 1930 census is the last census that asked people whether they could read or write.

1930s family posing for a photo

Race Categories Were Expanded

In previous federal censuses, the race column was inadequate. For example, the 1910 census allowed for only white, black, mulatto, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, and “ot” (meaning other), which was meant to apply to anything else.

In 1930, enumerators were instructed no longer to use “mulatto” as a race classification, and, for the first and only time, “Mexican” was listed as a race option.

This census expanded the options for recording race as follows:

W—White                      Jp—Japanese

Neg—Negro                   Fil—Filipina

Mex—Mexican             Kor—Korean

In—Indian                    Hin—Hindu

Ch—Chinese                 *Other races, spelled out in full

Life Leading Up to the 1930 Census

Learning a little bit about the nation and its people leading up to the 1930 census will give you a greater understanding of the lives of your ancestors.

The 1920s brought home the last of the American troops returning from Europe after World War I, gave women the right to vote, and ushered in the era of radio entertainment. Innovation and creativity led to greater industry, a more modern dress for men and women, and significant prosperity for families. Unfortunately, the beginning of the decade was a stark contrast to the end of the decade. The 1920s had begun with a roar of glory but unfortunately ended in a crash of great sadness.

How did the events of the 1920s and 1930s affect your family? Search the 1930 census for their story!


Norwegian Genealogical Societies and Other Resources for Norwegian Genealogy Research

2020. november 21., szombat 2:00:00

Are you new to discovering your Norwegian roots? Or have you discovered a bit about your Norwegian ancestors and are itching to learn more? Fortunately, plenty of records are available online that can help you find your Norwegian ancestors, and Norwegian genealogical societies can help guide you in your journey to find your family.

Starting Your Norwegian Genealogy Research

A good place to start your research is the FamilySearch wiki page on Norwegian research. There you will find the following:

  • Research tools and strategies
  • Maps
  • Word lists
  • Country and cultural background information
  • Lists of available records
A norwegian city.

The article on Norwegian genealogy research gives additional insight and helpful information as you organize and plan your strategy on your quest for Norwegian family records. These resources include:

  • Record hints
  • Naming conventions
  • Emigration patterns
  • Other helpful tips

Several different types of records are available, including parish records and farm books that contain local histories, called bygdebøker. Learn about these books and other items of interest about Norwegian genealogy at Norway ancestry records.

Norway Genealogy research on the FamilySearch Wiki.

Norwegian Genealogical Societies Offer More Help

In addition to these resources, try looking at the following associations and sites to help you learn more about your Norwegian American ancestors.

The Norwegian-American Historical Association collects and preserves material about the Norwegian American experience. They have many relevant publications and manuscript collections; they also have an archive of articles, obituaries, and newspapers.

the Norwegian-American Historical Association website

Another place to look is the Norwegian-American Genealogical Association. They have church record transcriptions, a collection of books, maps, publications, family histories, and a Facebook page!

The Norwegian American Genealogical Center and Naeseth Library has access to a large selection of research materials at the Naeseth Library in Madison, Wisconsin. Their collection includes immigration lists, local histories, obituaries, topographical maps, and Norwegian American family histories. They also have genealogists, videos, and webinars available to help. The Norwegian Genealogical Society has a large collection of books and other publications, projects, workshops, and a family history wiki to help with your research needs.

Check out the FamilySearch wiki for a longer list of genealogical societies.

Norwegian Genealogy Research Groups

If you are interested in connecting with others who are researching their ancestry, FamilySearch has a number of research groups that you can join. One that you might consider looking into is the research group on Nordic countries.

The Norwegian-American Bygdelagenes Fellesraad is an umbrella organization for North American bygdelags, which are societies that nurture and perpetuate Norwegian culture and heritage. The organizations are made up of descendants of people who immigrated to North America. The website also has links to Facebook pages for each area, additional pages, and links, along with other research helps.

a norwegian couple on a ledge

Various Facebook groups focus on Norwegian genealogy and are worth checking into, such as Minnesota Norwegians—GenealogyNorth and South Dakota Norwegians—Genealogy, and Wisconsin Norwegians—Genealogy.

Start Now to Explore Your Norwegian Connections

Societies and research groups are a great way to start learning about your Norwegian heritage. The FamilySearch Where Am I From? feature can give you additional insight into where your ancestors lived during important world events, and it allows you to trace family lines across the world. Try using this feature in tandem with Google Maps to see photos of your family’s homeland and virtually stand where your ancestors stood. As you take time to learn about the history and culture that impacted your ancestors, consider learning about local traditions or finding dishes that your ancestors may have enjoyed and incorporate them into your family traditions.

Be sure to share what you learn on your FamilySearch tree and in FamilySearch Memories to help your ancestors’ stories come alive for future generations.

Your Norwegian Heritage

the northern lights in Norway

Build Your Norwegian Family Tree with Bygdebøker

2020. november 19., csütörtök 2:00:00

Until about 1900, most Norwegians lived in rural areas, where farming was the way of life for hundreds or even thousands of years. They tended to live in solitary homesteads scattered across the landscape, rather than clustered together in villages.

The bygdebøker give information about the people living on the farms in these communities as well as a history of the communities themselves. Rural communities or districts, called bygds, often encompassed numerous farms. Over time, each bygd experienced a unique history. Families, who often lived on farms for many generations, had their own stories. So did the land, as it cycled through seasons of plenty and want. Local history unfolded in each bygd’s churches, schools, courts, and community gatherings. 

a bygd, or farmhouse, norway.

Gathering the History of Bygds

In the early 1900s, the Norwegian Historical Association began a significant, ongoing effort to document the history of each bygd. They laid the groundwork as local historians began researching the histories of farms and local communities. The writers compiled narratives from parish records, legal records (such as tax, court, or estate documents), and other historical sources as well as from interviews with residents.

The practice of creating bygdebøker remained strong throughout the 20th century. In 1955, Norway’s parliament established a permanent organization to support the ongoing creation of more community histories, which by then also included urban and regional coverage.

a norwegian farm in the winter.

Some bygdebøker focus on a general history of a locale. Most bygds have produced multiple volumes—sometimes even annual volumes. Some cover the genealogies of specific families, the histories of individual farms, or updates to the community’s history. They may document how various families are related to each other or divulge some of the dramas and disputes they shared. Many include information on emigrants—people who left for other lands—including their names, destinations, and sometimes even accounts of their lives in North America or other new homelands. Bygdebøker published in recent decades are often more complete and detailed.

Norwegian Family History in Bygdebøker

Family historians who explore Norwegian ancestry consult bygdebøker as key resources. Some bygdebøker chronicle several generations’ worth of genealogical information. Because bygdebøker are compiled sources, their contents should be verified with original records, but they are rich in local history, so these books also provide valuable glimpses into what it was like to live in a particular time and place.

a farmland in norway

In fact, bygdebøker are so valuable that FamilySearch volunteers in both Norway and the United States have been harvesting genealogical data from them for many years. They are using this information, in combination with other sources, to reconstruct and document many family lines in free community trees. More than 150 community trees have been created, each containing thousands of names.

Those who are building their Norwegian family trees may want to consult copies of bygdebøker. First, you need to determine the name of an ancestor’s community or parish. Then you can look online and in major libraries for copies of bygdebøker for that area. You can also explore Norwegian community trees built by Family History Library experts.

Learn more about bygdebøker and where to find them.

Your Norwegian Heritage

the northern lights in Norway

Join the RootsTech Songwriting Contest

2020. november 18., szerda 8:00:00

RootsTech Connect is all about what binds us together. Music has long been one of the most powerful ways for people to connect with one another, and that is why RootsTech is hosting a songwriting contest centered on connections. What connections mean the most to you? How do you connect with others? How do you connect with the world? All musical styles are encouraged, whether it be rap, classical, pop, country, rock and roll, or any other mix or genre. Entering also gives you the chance to win a Kawai piano!

A man sits at his drumkit and writes a song

There are three easy steps to enter the RootsTech songwriting contest:

  1. Write and Record—Share with us a song that shows what it means to connect. Be sure to write down your lyrics for your submission!
  2. Submit Your Entry—Fill out the entry form, and upload your song (as an MP3 file), lyric sheet, and album image before the entry deadline on 31 December 2020.
  3. Vote and Share—All semifinalists will be notified and given a unique link to share with friends and families. Encourage everyone you know to vote for your song, as well as for other songs that they enjoy.
A woman writes a song on a piano

There are multiple categories for entries. So whether you’re a professional, amateur, or youth, RootsTech wants you to tell your stories of connection through song. Go to the songwriting contest page for more information, to find answers to your questions, and to submit your song!

RootsTech Songwriting contest ad

Make a Video for a Chance to Be Featured at RootsTech Connect

2020. november 18., szerda 0:00:44

RootsTech Connect, which will take place on 25–27 February 2021, promises to be the most globally accessible RootsTech there has ever been. No matter where you’re from, RootsTech Connect will have something for you. And now, you can contribute!

From now until the end of December, the RootsTech team is accepting submissions for various types of videos that will be featured during the conference. There are multiple video categories and subcategories—meaning that whatever your strengths are, there is definitely something you can add to make the conference special.

Category 1: RootsTech Heritage Discovery Videos

Submission Deadline: 31 December 2020

As you know, RootsTech is all about family history. What better way to give RootsTech a personal flair than to share what makes your family history unique?

RootsTech invites everyone around the world to submit heritage discovery videos and share a piece of their corner of the world. These heritage videos can fall into one of three categories:

  • Food. What recipes do you have that are unique to your family or culture? What’s the story behind the food? Share a how-to video on how to make a dish that is significant to you. Be sure to tell us what makes it stand out!
a family baking together
  • Travel. This year’s RootsTech attendees will be from all over the world. Give everyone an insider’s look at why your hometown is the greatest. Record a video showing where you’re from, and bring your home to others! Share clips of your favorite hangouts, sights, or places to eat—anything that makes your home special to you.

a city in mexico

Culture and Traditions. Nothing ties us to our ancestors quite like the traditions we’ve inherited from them. Culture and tradition can influence what we wear, what we celebrate, and even what we say. But even between two families of the same culture, practices and traditions are often not identical.

What are your family’s cultural traditions? What makes your family unique? Share how your family celebrates holidays, what traditional clothing your family members wear, or even how to say things in your native language. Whatever you make will give others insight into your heritage and your corner of the world.

a woman in a traditional kimono.

Category 2: RootsTech Tips and Tricks Videos

Submission Deadline: 31 December 2020

Let’s face it, while genealogy is fun—addicting, even—there are things about it that can make it tricky, even to the seasoned genealogist. Luckily, none of us are alone! We all have each other to lean on and learn from.

What genealogy tips and tricks have you picked up in your journey through your family tree? How did you finally smash through that family history roadblock, opening up an entire new branch you would never have discovered otherwise? Create a quick video to share the methods that have worked for you. Your contributions will help everyone else at the conference. You might even help someone who is having a problem similar to the one you have overcome.

A woman waving to the camera

Guidelines, Tips, and How to Submit

Remember to read carefully and follow the guidelines and rules when it comes to submitting your video. Otherwise, there’s no guarantee that your video can be accepted and shared.

The RootsTech website has a page explaining more about each video category and the rules for submission. Be sure to check it out! It will answer any questions you might have. This page also gives you an easy way to submit your videos. Just click the button link at the bottom of the page.  

We are so excited to see what you have to share!

A Research Guide to the 1900 United States Census

2020. november 16., hétfő 17:35:00

The United States began conducting federal population censuses in 1790. The 1900 U.S. census was the 12th federal census, and it included two population schedules—the General Population Schedule and the Indian Population Schedule. This census also included a question that no other census had. Do you know what question that was?

Enter a name below to search for your ancestors in the 1900 United States census.


What Was the Unique Question Added to the 1900 Census?

Never before had a United States census asked for the birth month and year of every individual in the family. This question became a life saver after the loss of the 1890 census. The 1900 census can be used as an alternative birth record, though it is not the best option.

Special Reports Conducted during the Census

Boy with a hoop

As mentioned above, the 1900 census included two population schedules. The general population schedule, or census, was for people living in the United States, military personnel in the United States or abroad, and—for the first time—Hawaiian citizens.

The second population schedule was titled the “Special Inquiries Relating to Indians” but is most commonly known as the Indian Population Schedule. The Indian Population Schedule asked the same questions as were asked for the general population schedule, but the bottom of the census page had additional questions that included the following:

  • Other Name, if any
  • Tribe of this Indian
  • Tribe of Father of this Indian
  • Tribe of Mother of this Indian
  • Has this Indian any white blood; if so, how much?
  • Is this Indian, if married, living in polygamy?
  • Is this Indian taxed?
  • Year of acquiring citizenship
  • Was citizenship acquired by allotment?
  • Is this Indian living in a fixed or in a movable dwelling?

The census takers were instructed to enumerate Indians living on and off of reservations.

Congress also allowed for authorized special census agents to collect information on persons with deafness, blindness, insanity, and even juvenile delinquency.

More Helpful Questions on the 1900 Census

The 1900 census included other unique and helpful questions that will benefit your family history research. In the far left column, the census enumerator was to record what street or road the families lived on. In the second column, they recorded the house number. You can use that information to learn more about your ancestors’ neighbors and community and maybe even to find the house on Google Earth!

Question 10 asked, “How many years has the person been married?” The answer in this column can give you a calculated marriage year.

1900s baby in a stroller

Question 11 asked, “For mothers, how many children has the person had?” and question 12 asked, “How many of those children are living?” The answers to these two questions can lead you to unknown children who may have died or married, give a hint about whether the children in the home were the mother’s stepchildren, or whether an adoption had taken place.

Question 16 asked, “What year did the person immigrate to the United States?” Question 18 asked, “Is the person naturalized?” The answers to these questions can help you locate a passenger list, a border crossing record, or naturalization papers

Life in the 1900s

Gain a greater appreciation for your ancestors and the nation by learning more about their lives in the 1900s.

How did the events of the 1890s affect your family? Search the 1900 census for their story!


Finding Help at FamilySearch—A Simplified Menu

2020. november 13., péntek 21:14:11

The FamilySearch help menu makes it easy to find the help you need when you’re working on your family history. Learn how you can use the menu to get around roadblocks and achieve your goals.

Personalized Help and Suggested Topics

The help menu is available from any FamilySearch web page. Look in the top right corner of the screen, and click the little circle with a question mark. A small menu box will open over the top of wherever you are on, which means that you can explore help options without having to leave the page you are working on.

help center menu
help menu

At the top of the menu, you will see a search box. Enter the keywords of a topic or challenge that you want help on, and your search results will appear inside the help menu box. Find the help you need, and apply it to the task at hand—without having to toggle back and forth between screens.

Below the search box is a section titled “Suggested Topics.” The links that you see there have all been tailored to your current page view. Say, for example, that you are on the main page but you haven’t signed in.  The suggested topics would be focused on resetting a password or recovering your username and other account-related issues.

Then again, maybe you’re working in Family Tree. In that case, the suggested topics would be focused on the activities or tasks that you can perform on that page—adding information about a family member, for example, or changing the view or perspective of your pedigree chart.

When you open the help menu, we recommend that you take a quick look at the suggested topics first. People often have similar questions, and the articles that appear have been prepared with those questions in mind.

Multiple Help Options to Choose From

Sometimes when you have a question, you just want to talk to someone. Other times, it’s not just a simple answer that you’re looking for but rather an explanation or research article on a topic that interests you. In those situations, the help menu can point you in the right direction.

This time you want to look below the suggested topics to the very bottom of the help menu pop-up box. There you see several items to choose from. Each one takes you to a different kind of help. Use the one you need.

A mother and son look at Family Tree Lite on their computer

Think of the help center as an online library of FamilySearch help materials. If the suggested topics didn’t have what you were looking for and your search query came up empty, check out the help center. Information is divided into categories—Family Tree, memories, and indexing, to name a few. You can choose a topic and begin browsing its contents. From the help center, you can also access our learning center, which offers you free online courses on a variety of family history topics.

Many of the materials available in the help center were originally composed in English. If you’re viewing in a language other than English and a particular article hasn’t been translated yet, you may see the English version instead. We apologize for the inconvenience. Rest assured that we are working diligently to translate and expand our library of help materials into as many languages as possible.

help options

The Community option is a tool for interacting with others who have common interests and are willing to share their expertise.

The Contact Us option takes you to a page with information for getting in touch with FamilySearch or locating one of our many family history centers around the world. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will see contact information for their ward temple and family history consultants. In this section, you will also find a list of your current and previous conversations with FamilySearch support.

The Helper Resources option takes you to a FamilySearch page dedicated to those who help others with their family history interests and goals. Choosing this option gives you important information about updates to the FamilySearch website and tools you can use to assist someone else. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will find information about their church responsibilities and can access the Planner.

Help Is on the Way

Thanks for taking a few moments to learn more about the help menu. At FamilySearch, we understand that sooner or later, every family historian—beginner or expert—needs a little assistance. Next time you hit a roadblock in your family history, don’t get frustrated—and for sure don’t give up!

Just go to the help menu. There’s a great chance that it has what you’re looking for. At the very least, it can connect you with volunteers, customer service, and other helpers, all of whom want to see you succeed.

Discover Your Famous Relatives

2020. november 13., péntek 20:00:00

What do Tom Hanks, Abraham Lincoln, and Elvis Presley have in common? Besides being famous, they are also all related—and you may be related to them too! With the FamilySearch Famous Relatives discovery experience, it is easier than ever to see how you’re connected to famous people in history.

famous relatives screenshot

How Does Famous Relatives Work?

The Famous Relatives activity searches the FamilySearch Family Tree for your possible connections to famous people in history. For the experience to work, you need a FamilySearch account (if you don’t already have one, you can create a free one) with at least four generations completed. For best results, fill out your family tree as much as possible, aiming for eight generations or more.

The articles below can help get you started!

While you are researching your family tree to discover your famous relatives, you can enjoy other fun discovery activities!

Find Your

two boys who look alike hug

Compare-a-Face lets you upload photos and see how similar you and your family members look. You can finally settle who looks more like Mom or Dad!

Discover Your
Name Meaning

screenshot of surname search

Discover the meaning and origin of your surname. You can also view what countries your surname is most likely to be found in.

Family Tree Art

family tree art screenshot

Create printable Family Tree art to decorate your home! The activity pulls information from your FamilySearch Family Tree.

Map Where
You Came From

map of ancestral homeland

Where Am I From lets you map where your ancestors lived, see where they were during major world events, and learn more about your heritage.

Record Your
Family Story

record your story screenshot

Record Your Story will prompt you with questions about your family and personal history. You can also use our 52-questions template to begin writing.

View Ancestral Infographic

ancestral infographic screenshot

This activity pulls from your FamilySearch Family Tree information and will create a personalized infographic about your family history.

Try On
Traditional Clothing

traditional clothing photos

Picture My Heritage lets you virtually wear the traditional clothing of your heritage. You can also see yourself in old, black and white photos.

Learn Fun Facts
About Your Birthday

list of fun birthday facts

All about Me will tell you fun facts about the year you were born, such as how expensive gas was, the top music of the year, and other cool facts.

Learn about
Your Heritage

man in kilt in scotland playing bag pipes

Learn about the culture, heritage, and history of where you came from using FamilySearch’s country pages.