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Ask -the-Pros — Question and Answer — Patronymic or Matronymic

Question: What is a patronymic or matronymic? Answer: A patronym, or patronymic, is a name that is based on the name of the father, grandfather, or any important male in the family. Example: In Scandinavia the surname “Hansen” mean “Hans’ son” and “Carlson” means “Carl’s son”. patronymic → “pater” (“father) + “nym” (“name”) A matronym, or matronymic is part of a personal name based on the mother’s name or any other important female in the family.  In Iceland the name “Mínervudóttir” means “Minerva’s daughter”. You often see matronyms used in Spanish names. matronymic → “mater” (“mother”) + “nym” (“name”) … Read entire article »

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Assessing Scandinavian Information in FamilySearch’s Family Tree

In the Scandinavian or Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, (also Northern Germany and the Netherlands before 1811) the patronymic naming system was used. That means, a Scandinavian’s surname was formed by taking the first name of their natural father, and adding “–sen –sson or -datter –dotter” to it. It was a very good and necessary system for the time period it was in use. It also means, however, that you could find several people living in the same record keeping jurisdiction at the same time, with the same surnames, who are totally unrelated to each other. Proving which “Lars Larsen” is YOUR ancestor is the task. The age of computers, and ever increasing capability … Read entire article »

Ask -the-Pros — Question and Answer — Why is the Family History Library Important?

Question: Why is the Family History Library important when there is so much available online? Answer: All the collections housed in the Family History Library (FHL) are not online. This is the largest collection in the world. You can easily research records in multiple counties or countries in one day just by moving from one floor to another. Many of the records that have been microfilmed over the past 100 years are only available in Salt Lake City at the FHL. Some of the older records in churches and government repositories are made available through the FHL when the originals are too fragile to touch in person. Many state archives in the US have large collections available through the FHL. … Read entire article »

Research and Resources at the Family History Library

The Family History Library (FHL)* houses a collection of genealogical records that includes the names of more than 3 billion deceased people. FamilySearch continues to collect digital images from many countries that are deposited and made available through the Family History Library. Records collected include birth, marriage, and death registers from both churches and governments. Other records types that are high priority for the collection include census returns, court records, land and property records, probate records; emigration and immigration lists; printed genealogies; and family histories. Some of the records housed in Salt Lake City are available for rental through one of the more than 4,600 family history centers located in 132 countries. Patrons may also access FamilySearch … Read entire article »

Trekking for Ancestors

Trekking for Ancestors

Holly T. Hansen has released her latest book entitled, Trekking for Ancestors. It is a guide for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is designed help turn your heart to your fathers through family history and temple work by discovering the promises made to the fathers and cultivating and preparing your heart to receive those promises. … Read entire article »

Ask-the-Pros — Question and Answer — Old Style Handwriting

Ask-the-Pros — Question and Answer — Old Style Handwriting

Question: How do you read old documents accurately? Can I learn to do this myself? Answer: The study of old handwriting is called paleography. There are many guides and helps available to us today. Classes taught at family history events and online. Whether you are reading a will, a census page, colonial records, even a stranger’s handwriting it takes practice. Each time I read … Read entire article »

Why Virginia Church Records Are Important

Why Virginia Church Records Are Important

By Arlene Eakle Why Church Records Are Important for Hard-to-Find Virginia Ancestors… Church records can be one of the most important sources you search for hard-to-find Virginia ancestors.  Here’s what I know about them– Church records provide births, marriages, and deaths on a fairly consistent basis.  Some churches do better in one or more vital record categories than others.  The creation of these records depends … Read entire article »

October Family History Research Retreat

October Family History Research Retreat

Each October we hold one of our best Family History Library Research Retreats in the heart of Utah! This year is no exception and we invite you to come join with us at the world renowned Family History Library (FHL) in Salt Lake City, Utah. You will learn how to use the FHL, Ancestry.com, MyHeritage, and FindMyPast.com along with proven … Read entire article »

Celebrating and Capturing the Memories Interview Books and CD

Celebrating and Capturing the Memories Interview Books and CD

Are you looking for a place to start with writing your personal history? Would you like to interview someone else to preserve their memories? Use one of our exceptional workbooks to help you capture the memories you want to preserve. Each workbook contains a guide with questions to assist you in writing an expanded history. The books are divided into … Read entire article »

Celebrating and Capturing Memories in England with Valerie Kelley

Celebrating and Capturing Memories in England with Valerie Kelley

They say “you can’t go home again,” but I actually did and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. It all started when my husband and I went about deciding what to do for our 40th wedding anniversary. Our anniversary was Sept. 7th, so we decided to make a trip back to England where I had been born 60 … Read entire article »

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