Charles Dickens wrote about the “best of times” and the “worst of times” in his novel A Tale of Two Cities. While everyone is very wary of the effects of coronavirus, with its disruptive and tragic consequences, there will be some good things that come of it. So, what good can come from stay-at-home orders as far as your family history goes?
Pandemics remind us that life can be fleeting. You probably have more time to work on your family history, and you may want to preserve precious memories. Now is the time to draw loved ones closer to our heart to ensure that memories survive for future generations. Keep a journal, or start one. Organize your genealogy, and find a way to pass it on to your children. If you don’t have a family tree, start writing down what you know. If you already have a family tree, but are stuck, our researchers at Price Genealogy can help you.
Our professional researchers have the time to break through on your most troublesome lines. They have access to FamilySearch’s locked digital microfilms, which are currently unavailable to most people while the Family History Centers and the Family History Library are closed. We have subscriptions to all the major genealogy databases, and since we use them every day, we know how to find the information you’re searching for. There is a lot of material out there, but if you don’t know what you are looking for, or what it all means, the secrets of the past will remain hidden. Our researchers know how to unlock the secrets within these records, and how seemingly disparate facts can be used to build a case of indirect evidence that ultimately proves your ancestry.
We frequently work with clients, who for decades on their own, have slogged away at particular ancestors, but have not made much progress. When they turn their challenge over to our very experienced researchers, it’s not surprising when stubborn brick walls finally open, revealing what they have been hiding. One client recently told us that she labored for over 50 years on a particular German line, then in desperation came to Price Genealogy. We assigned it to one of our German experts, and within a couple weeks we were able to give her nine new generations of her German ancestors. She was so happy. There is a lesson in this: Progress will usually be made when you ask the right people for help.
Genealogical research is constantly changing. Just when you think you’ve got a particular website figured out, they change it! It is hard to keep up with all of the transformations and new methodologies. If your genealogy was “complete” ten or twenty years ago, chances are that it is not complete any more. So many new records have come to light and are easily searched. Creative researchers, and the relatively new field of genetic genealogy, have revolutionized how we approach your brick walls. Documents that have been locked away in musty archives for centuries are now being integrated into our research reports on a daily basis.
Maybe you used to get a lot of your information from the old IGI — the International Genealogical Index. It was great in its day, though its lack of death or burial entries caused many casual family historians to make false assumptions. Now, on FamilySearch, we have the Historical Records database, which is much better. It includes extracted records from original documents that were once part of the old IGI. But, what a lot of people may not know is that the old IGI also included the submissions of individuals that came from their own research. These personal contributions were often not as accurate as extracted records.
The submissions by individuals still exist, but they are found in a different place on the FamilySearch website—in the Genealogies section. The Genealogies section includes a lot of things that you may not have heard about for quite some time: the IGI, Ancestral File, Pedigree Resource File, as well as Community Trees and Partner Trees. The Genealogies area of the website contains a wealth of information. Some of the genealogies that your grandmother tried to preserve thirty or fifty years ago may be here. Another way to see what your grandparents may have submitted years ago is the “Family Group Records Collection, Archives Section, 1942-1969.” If you would still like to search the two parts of the old IGI—the Community Contributed IGI and the Community Indexed IGI—before it was closed to new submissions, click here. You can read more about the many iterations of the IGI here.
Our researchers have kept up with the changes, and know where to find the information you need. We have only discussed FamilySearch here, but there are so many other specialty websites and online searchable databases. Our researchers have the time to help you now. Pricing of projects through Price Genealogy is more than competitive; you will receive the best value for your hard-earned funds. The gift of family history can be a consecrated sacrifice for your children, not to mention all the personal interest it will bring to you. It speaks so forcefully that human life matters, and that it needs to be preserved! People’s lives should not be forgotten just because they have passed on, especially now with all the technologies available to us. The living can learn so much from older generations and from their kindred dead. Don’t let your people be forgotten! We live in the best of times in this regard.
People talk about essential businesses and essential activities during the coronavirus lockdown. Nothing is more essential than our families. There is a continuity of life from past generations, to the present generation, and to future generations. While our DNA segments may be shuffled like a deck of cards and carry on in some form to each new generation, what about our stories? What about the names, dates, places and identities of our ancestors? The coronavirus pandemic, and other threats, teach us that our lives and our families—every generation—are essential! Let’s do our part to honor our loved ones, the living and those who have passed, by preserving their lives. There’s no better time than now. Preserving our loved ones—their names and stories—is a way to honor life! It’s a way to fight back against the “worst of times” fears that disease and the coronavirus may bring. Family history is a noble pursuit. At Price Genealogy, we live and breathe the great prospects of family history every day, and we are here to help you discover your generational foundations, and to help you keep the memories alive. We see the “best of times” and great opportunities calling out to us to do good and to make a positive impact in our families’ lives.
22 April 2020
What online family history work are you doing right now? Let us know in a comment below!