Archive for February, 2020

What’s In A Name?

Julie NameCloudWould you like to know more about your surname? Ever wondered how many people share that name, and where they might live? Have you been curious about the town your ancestors came from— like when it was first established, and if people with your surname still live there? If so, I have an informative website for you. It is called forebears.io.

This website is free and you do not need to register to use it. It has a simple search on the home page where you can search by either a place or a surname.

When you enter a surname and search you should find:

  • The meaning of the name
  • How common your surname is worldwide.
  • A map showing how that surname is distributed by country.
  • Similar spellings of the name

The second search is by place. When you enter the name of a town, a drop-down box appears so you can scroll to the correct place name. This site has much more detailed information about places in England than it does for the United States. Once you have located your place, you should scroll down the page where you will first find links to records for that area. You will generally find a long list of records available for searching. If the site you are accessing requires a subscription, it will tell you that in the title. You can find jurisdictions [places where you can locate additional records], as well as the history of the town (especially in England) and, a gazetteer style description.

In the United States, your search may be more effective if you go first to the State then filter to smaller locations. In the US you are less likely to get a history of the town, but at the bottom of the search, you will find the distribution of names in the town. Even most small towns are represented.

You will find filters on the left of the page to help you navigate. Some features will also provide you with a copyable link that you can save to help you return to the page quickly.

I hope you find this website interesting, fun and helpful as you work on your family history.

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Quick Help on FamilySearch

cousinsOne of the things I do in my spare time. [permission to laugh] is to answer questions that come into FamilySearch as part of the Support Team. This week many of the questions I received could have been answered easily if the person had used the Help Feature on FamilySearch. Most of you may know that familysearch.org is a free site dedicated to building your family tree. As you build your tree you are bound to have questions. The following steps will give you the answer to many of those questions.
1. Go to familysearch.org and sign in.
2. In the upper right of any page on the site, you will see Help.
3. Click on Help and the top item is Help Center,
4. Once in the Help Center, you type the keys word of your question in the search field. This is very similar to Google Search.
5. You will find that your keywords have generated articles that can answer your question.
6. If your search didn’t provide the answers you hoped for then try another search with different words. Remember this is all free.
7. If you still find you need more help, you can ask a question of the Support Team by going to Help, then choosing ‘Contact Us’. You can do this on your computer, or on your smartphone, either through email, chat or the toll-free number provided.

Enjoy finding your ancestors.

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