By Mike Harvey

Rule 1

Don't try to trace your connection down from some historical figure you may
be told you are related to. (Like I did...fool)
Always start with yourself and work backwards. Interview EVERYONE in the
family and see what documents and photos you can obtain or copy. Be careful
with family stories, they tend to be sugar coated and sometimes connect the
wrong event to the wrong person or generation. Interviewing Relatives is
cross-referenced with Lies and Date Discrepancies!
Economies with the truth are rampart.
(Surprise! surprise! Paternal Great Granny and Great Grandpa weren't quite
the paragons of virtue that I was led to believe. And Maternal Great Grandad
wasn't an "English Emigrant". He won an all expenses paid trip to Australia
courtesy of the Old Bailey which he repaid with 14 faithful years in
Government service! Oh, and Maternal Great Granny won one too! Some
favouritism shown with her...she only gave 7 years of faithful Government
service. )

Rule 2

Remember to record all women as who they are when they are born, not by
their married name or known by in later life.

Rule 3

Don't be a chauvinist - your father's line is only a twig, not a tree. The
name you are born with falls either way of the wedding ring. Many babies
born before marriage are recorded under their mother's maiden name. Always
remember your mother's line is more accurate than your father's. Think
"Mother's baby! Father's maybe?" After all, your father's line is only as
good as your mother tells you.

Rule 4

Trace the lines of least resistance, those that are not German if you can't
sprechen zie deutsch, those that are not Irish if you want instant success.
Do the easy ones first, i.e. those who are born where they said they were

Rule 5

Don't look for a marriage date nine months before the birth of the first
child. Many children were born within a few weeks, months or hours after
and before the parents were married or if ever married.

Rule 6

You will need to check the indexes to Births, Deaths and Marriages for the
appropriate State and look up your ancestors' entries. In some States the
reference numbers means cheaper certificates. Death certificates may be
informative in Australia but they are the least correct.
Never rely on a death certificate to be accurate.
For NSW use a transcription agent rather than the NSW BDM's site
for copies of certificates.... They are a helleva lot cheaper and are typed
out for ease of reading. They can also be 'cut and pasted' into your notes
file in your computer program or just put in your family history files.
And if they stuff up the details you have no trouble getting a replacement.

Rule 7

Get organized from day one. You'll be killing a lot of trees with the paper
trail you'll be gathering. Get the correct stationery or computer program
to handle recording the data you will be collecting.

Rule 8

Make sure you take good notes stating what you read, when you read it and
whether it held any information crucial to your search. This will save
duplication of genealogy and keep you organized.

Rule 9 (Mine)

Check to make sure someone hasn't already traced your family tree. You can
search through a series of books called the Genealogical Research Directory
(GRD). These are annual publications showing who is tracing whom in the
family tree. They can be found at most genealogical libraries, LDS Centres
and major council libraries. The Internet also provides a wealth of sites
for free advertisement of names you are researching.
Use Roots web's World Connect but remember that there is a lot of 'fantasy'
there purporting to be 'factual family trees'. Same goes especially for
The first rule of genealogy research should be applied to all data from
these sources:
'Accept all data...Believe none until you have checked it for veracity
Lots of ego trippers lurk on those sites.

Occasionally revise your work.

Your mantra should be ...Revision...Revision..Revision.

You will be surprised how often you pick up obvious clues that you missed

the first time around. And then kick yourself for suffering from tunnel 

Rule 10 (Mine)

Lastly, invest in TV dinners and take away, you won't have the time or
inclination to cook, garden or do anything but dig up your roots. As one
husband bemused, "I used to have a wife until she started genealogy." Or as
my wife was heard to mutter, quite often, "He's disturbing the dead and
irritating the living, again."

Mike Harvey
Merewether NSW

"Shake any family tree and a few nuts will fall out"

Holding a Family History Event

Did you get an April copy of the NASW Temple and Family History Newsletter?  Click Here!

here are lots of events that can help you further the work by encouraging others to attend and learn how to document the lives of their families.  Here are a few successful ideas we have used.

Have a Linger Longer  or Open House Event with your Ward 

Takes place after the 3 hour block.
TACO OR BAKED POTATO BAR - fun ! just have everyone bring 1 bowl of their favorite topping.  cheese, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, chopped olives, 

Invite everyone to bring their favorite topping to tacos or have a  baked potato bar
We supplied

  • 3 crock pots of taco meat (3 family history members donated), 
  • 12 dozen tortillas from Smart N Final (3 family history members each brought 4 dozen - about 4.00 each)
  • and a cake from Costco (1 family history member donated 16.00)  
  • We used the Wards supply of paper plates, cups for water and forks/napkins
Members bring:  pen/paper for notes; laptop - would be very helpful

Stations:  We set the food up at one end of the cultural hall with about 6 round tables and chairs in the middle.  In a U shape at the other end of the Cultural Hall were different stations:

1 - Ward Clerk with his laptop and ability to give people their member numbers.

2 - Table for Family Search to sign up for a family tree

3 - Table for Partner Access - to sign up for $700.00 of free software.
4.  Have a table of scrapbooks to look at for ideas

4 - Table for Research - help finding a name or name of cousins using Puzilla.org

5. Learn how to index properly

6  Learn how to scan pictures and documents (need a color printer here)

7- Table for Consultant Planner - to meet with a consultant and quickly find some opportunities to easily add to your tree.

8. Have a printer for printing names and if possible one for printing their fan charts.  We use HP7610

Overflow:  One long kids table and chairs - we put a Family History Game "Find a Name..." on the middle, along with Family HIstory Coloring books and crayons.  We also put card stock and an embosser that embosses the stock in a puzzle shape.  After they color a picture of their family, they can break it into puzzle pieces and put it into a zip log bag to take home - fun to put together and take apart.

Have an Open House for your Family History Room

 Display this poster in the foyer for several weeks prior to event and put in bulletin every week for 3 weeks prior.

 The new Area Seventy for the Scottsdale Coordinating Council is Elder Raymond Heyman
Raymond S. Heyman, 60, Chandler, Arizona; Partner, Snell & Wilmer; former bishop, high councilor, mission president, and stake president; wife: Diane Heyman, five children.
We look forward to coordinating the Reports from our Stake Presidencies to ensure continuity and success with Temple and Family History.
There are a few sites that have been helpful we wanted you to know about:
Gatherers in the Kingdom

Please note that there are three presentations of this slide deck for 3 different meetings.  One for Leaders, one for Temple and Family History Consultants, and one for Ward Members.

Thank you Br. Carruth for letting us know that slide 5 was different in the leader's deck than what has recently been published.   Another new slide shows that Area TFH Consultants advise Stake Presidents and this one does not.  The slide is intended to show the Priesthood channel and the Family history channel. It is not an indicator of where support and help/training comes from.  This was done to emphasize the chain of leadership

Please let us know when you have shared these with your Wards so we can report back on the success of the project.

MEDIA STOP!  Here you go - how to work with Ward Leaders when you are a Temple and Family History consultant.


My favorite new website for training consultants is:  The Family History Guide or thefhguide.com

It's pretty amazing.  If you don't have any computer skills, it even teaches you about the computer.
However, let's say you are fair to middlin' in your experience.  Once you experience a login and password, you can log your proficiency in each area of learning and monitor yourself for success.


This is a great little short video on how to make the most of your resources.  A lot of people will come to us and say I need to find this person.....that's all.  In order to do this correctly, we need more information so that we can maximize on our resources and minimize on our time.

So - Here are some questions we need the answers to?

This person's name____________________
Where were they born?_______________________
What was the first Census they appeared on?
What Census data have you already searched?
What county/City/State did their Parents live in as Children?
What county/City/State did they Marry in?
Do you have corroborating certificates of his parents - and or/grandparents?
i.e., - birth certificates, death certificates, baptisms, census data, any county records,

In other words, what have you already done so that we don't reinvent the wheel?

What do you know about this person's heritage? Language spoken?
When did they immigrate?
Who was the first person in your family to immigrate to the US?

It may seem like a lot, but in these few sentences is a wealth of linked information and we can guide you to success.

Do you have a Family Search Account?  May we analyze it for you?

Here is a video to the WIKI block of research site - you will love it as an additional help.

Let us help you get past your brick wall!  naswfamilyhistory@gmail.com


HAPPY JULY 4TH AMERICA! This is what is in this issue! As we are both converts to the Church, we always marvel when we find...