4440 Jackson Blvd
Columbia, South Carolina 29209
Phone: 803-782-7141
E-mail: FamilyHistCent@yahoo.com
Hours: Tues 10:00am-2:00pm; Wed 9:00am-9:00pm
Closed December 13 to January 3rd

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Entire collection of family histories now cataloged

Family History Center Book Room

All of the family histories in the library can be accessed in the Family History Surname Index. The indexing is an ongoing project which will take a long time to complete. After the family histories are all indexed other books with family genealogy collections within them will also be indexed by surname for those portions of the books.
    Most of the books entered into the library catalog are linked to WorldCat, a web site that contains the holdings of many libraries throughout the world in one place. By clicking on the link you can see what libraries also own the books we have cataloged. Those entered in black with author and other publishing information are not entered into WorldCat and we may be the only library owning that book.

Please stop by and use our collection some time.

Bill Coup
Community Volunteer

Be a record sweep

It is much easier to start ancestor research with the lastest event in an ancestor's timeline which is usually death or burial. Documenting a birth can be more challenging. Records you discover that document the most recent events will help you step back in time. Resources become scarce the further back you go, so you will want to find all that you can with the hope that at least one of your findings will connect you to the previous generation.

Be a record sweep

Imagine for a moment, you lost one of you favorite earrings (or a wallet). You would probably go back to the place where it could have fallen. Perhaps you would even enlist the help of others. You would move objects around and check corners. You might even get on your hands and knees to check beneath objects to make sure it was not overlooked.

This is what is meant by sweeping records. Often people jump back to far too soon in their research, and they loose the trail. A good researcher is like a detective who talks to everyone and looks in every possible place for clues. Each finding is a puzzle piece that fills in a little more of the picture.

Search collateral lines

A common mistake that researchers make is that they only search for resources to document their own ancestor. If their ancestor had siblings or cousins, that opens up other possibilities for finding links back to a common ancestor. If you have run out of resources to identify an ancestor, why not try searching for resources on your ancestor's siblings or other individuals on collateral lines?

Complete a family group sheet so you will have a record of parents and siblings. This a handy reference in case you do not find enough resources on your ancestor. Also, your ancestor may not appear on a census or other document you are using. Knowing other members of the family group will help.

Documenting birth

Since the death and marriage of Emory Wallace Vance (1901-1973) has been successfully documented. Check FamilySearch Wiki to determine if a birth record would exist for Emory who was born in 1901 in South Carolina. Search using the words "South Carolina Vital Records."

With a few exceptions, birth records were not recorded until 1915 according to “South Carolina Vital Records.” It was discovered that Emory is listed on the Social Security Death Index (SSDI). The original Social Security Application would have more useful information for a genealogist such as birth date, birth place, and parent's names. “U. S. Social Security Records for Genealogists” explains how to order a copy of the original Social Security Application.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Find more resources with FamilySearch Wiki

Researchers have a new resource, FamilySearch Wiki, where they can access to help them locate resources to learn more about ancestors. This wiki is an online encyclopedia that is being built by the genealogical community made up of both professional genealogists and enthusiasts.
As the community contributes to this tool, it will help save researchers time and much frustration that comes from being unfamiliar with historical collections available in different localities.
The easiest way to incorporate using the wiki is to go wiki.familysearch.org and enter the locality where your ancestor lived to find known resources. For example, entering “Richland County, South Carolina,” brings up the following results: Click here. Selecting the first result will take you to the page where you will have immediate access to topics listed such as, Vital Records, Family Histories, Probate, and many more.
If you broaden your search, you may discover additional resources. For example, try searching on the state where your ancestor lived. A state search will connect you to resources that were generated on the state level. Currently, there are no resources listed under “Vital Records” for Richland County, however, if you search “South Carolina,” you will find a number of resources to document birth, marriage, and death.
Please take the opportunity to listen to the video presentation which accompanies this article. It will help you with locating death records by county or state. If boundaries in a state are divided into parishes, search by parish and state. If you search for “Iberia Parish, Louisiana” you would be able to link to resources for that parish: See results.
As you find success in locating resources, remember to include citations.        "When researching your family it is very important that you keep track of every piece of information. This is important both as a means of verifying or "proving" your data and also as a way for you or other researchers to go back to that source when future research leads to information which conflicts with your original assumption. In genealogy research, any statement of fact, whether it is a birth date or an ancestor's surname, must carry its own individual source,"  according to Kimberly Powell, About.com Guide.  See Cite Your Genealogy Sources.

More links:

Tutorial: How to find free research assistance

Are you trying to find resources to document an ancestor?  Did you know that you can get free online research assistance at familysearch.org?

Follow this tutorial to learn how to access FamilySearch Forums and find the help you need.

1.  Go to beta.familysearch.org and click on Help at the top right portion of the screen.

2.  Scroll down the page and click on Research Forums.

3.  Register so that you will receive an email when someone answers your question.  Then check your email to activate your free account.  When you vist the Forums from then on, log on at the top right portion of the screen.

4. This is what it looks like after you have logged into the FamilySearch Forums.  Choose the locality where your ancestor lived.  In this example, we will select North America.

5.  Next, choose the locality in North America where your ancestor lived.  We will choose Southern States.

6. It is a great idea to search the Forums to see if someone already posted a question about your ancestor.  Look for "Search the Forums" the same page near the top right.

7.  Scroll down until you see:Click on new thread.

8.  You must be logged into FamilySearch Forums, for the following page to appear. If you have not registered, you will not receive a notification when your question is answered. 
  • These are some of the elements of a post: 
  • Select the state from the drop-down menu.
  • Enter a title using your ancestor's name and location.
  • Post your question.  Be sure to include what you already know: (ancestor's name, town, spouse, age, birth, death, etc.) Hint: If you take a long time to post your question then you may get logged out.  Type your question into a word processor.  Then paste it into this section.
  • Enter tags so that you can search to find the post later and so that others can find it.
  • Preview your post
  • Click "Submit New Thread"

9.  Remember to check back for the answer to your post. Sometimes you might have to provide more information.  You will also receive an email response to your post.  Let the person responding know you received the answer by submitting a reply.

10.  The question that I posted above received two responses within 48 hours. This is one of the emails I received:

11.  This is one of the responses at it appears in the Forums:

11.  Click here to view the entire thread: 

12.  Many great professionals and enthusiasts help to answer questions in the Forums.  Hopefully, you will begin to post your questions and share your talents there as well!

A Celebration of Family History

Click here to purchase this video on DVD.

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