©2016 by Donald R. Snow

Sections of the Class Notes This page was last updated 2016-01-17.
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  1. Instructor is Donald R. Snow ( ) of Provo and St. George, Utah.
  2. These Supplementary Notes and the Class Handout Notes are posted on  with all the links, so you don't have to type them in yourself.
  3. Tips:  (1)  To put an icon on your desktop for these notes, or any webpage, just drag the icon from in front of the address in your browser onto your desktop.  (2)  To open a link, but keep your place in these notes, hold down the Control key while clicking the link.
  4. Definition of cousins: descendants of the same person, so your cousins are descendants of any of your ancestors (except your own parent, since then you are siblings)
  5. Today's class will discuss finding your cousins and why you would want to 

  7. Relationship between cousins -- go back to their common ancestor and count down the number of generations to each; the smaller number minus one is the cousin level and the difference of generations down is the removeds; that is, if the smaller number is two (common ancestor is the grandparent of one or both), they are first cousins, if smaller number is three (common ancestor is great-grandparent of one or both), they are second cousins; if one line has an extra generation down, so they are one generation apart, they are once removed; if two extra generations down on one line, they are twice removed; Example: 3 generations back to common ancestor on one line and 4 generations back on the other means second cousins once removed, sometimes abbreviated 2C1R.
  8.               .
                /   \
              S     S
             /         \
          1C         1C
          /                \
       2C                2C
  9. Several reasons for doing descendancy research, e.g. helps you understand your ancestry; helps make the FamilySearch Family Tree database complete and accurate; may provide clues to extend your pedigree; will probably show people needing temple work
  10. Keep track of what you find WITH THE SOURCES in your own genealogy records management program (Ancestral Quest, PAF, RootsMagic, etc.) and in FamilySearch Family Tree (FS FT) 

  12. Lavina King (KLFW-T9P, 1838-1917), wife of William Franklin Hunter, and sister to Elizabeth Breedlove King, Diane's 2ggrandmother 
  13. Alanson Jane (KVLK- KJ3, 1795-1869), husband of Betsy Beman, Don's great aunt and who Erastus Snow wrote that he visited 

  15. Helps on FamilySearch
    1. 5-min video on Temple Names Submission --
    2. 4-min video on Descendancy View and finding cousins in FS FT --
    3. Article --
    4. Help Center -- (scroll down to see the search box and enter "find cousins" or something similar)
    5. Research Wiki on FamilySearch -- type in things like "descendancy research"
  16. The Family History Guide -- -- Very helpful website for learning FH; completely free; several articles on descendancy and temple work --
  17. Descendants View on FamilySearch Family Tree 
    1. Click on Descendancy at top left corner; default is 2 generations down, but can set it for 3 or 4 down
    2. Can set it to show portraits and various icons by clicking on Show (top right); you see more info without the portraits
    3. Various ways to copy the entire scrolling descendancy screen -- (1) Right-click and Save As... (save complete html webpage to get the portraits and all the icons); (2) Use an inexpensive program like FastStone Capture 8.3 ($20) -- see Tutorial Manual at ; (3) Use a freeware scrolling window capture program (but I haven't found a free one that works well with all the latest browsers  - DRS)
  18. Programs to help with descendancy research
    1. Relative-Finder -- -- by BYU Computer Science Dept; uses your FamilySearch information to show how you are related to famous people including LDS Church leaders, US presidents, kings and queens, and others; can also set up a group, e.g. your ward, for people to join to show how they are related to each other; very helpful to get people interested in family history; Relative-Finder now has a Virtual Pedigree chart with descendants view and clues to "Low Hanging Fruit" to work on
    2. Puzzilla -- -- commercial program, but free at FHCs, and has free parts available with LDS accounts -- it starts with you and shows a diagram of your ancestors with colored and shape coded icons; clicking on one allows generating a descendants chart of that person with color and shape coded icons so you can see where possible further work, temple and research, need to be done 
    3. All My Cousins -- -- free program that uses your FS FT data to find and download your cousins -- gives lists of people in various relationships to you, e.g. 1C3R -- see more info at  by James Tanner
    4. Find-A-Record -- --has a descendants mode and gives clues of data needed
    5. Hope Chest (used to be called Pandora's Hope Chest) -- -- Chrome browser add-on to look for "green temples or arrows" -- FamilySearch says it's not for novices, since it leads to lots of temple duplication --'s_Hope_Chest
  19. Record searches that may help with descendancy research
    1. Many good records are available in the U.S. during the 1800-1900s to help with descendancy research; hints on FamilySearch, Ancestry, MyHeritage, and other places are very helpful
    2. GenSmarts -- -- helpful to analyze your genealogy data offline, e.g. through a database or GEDCOM, and finds "holes" where data is missing and gives ideas of databases to check based on localities and dates; does not edit your data; commercial, but inexpensive with free trial period giving slightly limited results, so you can see how it works
    3. Census records help put families together:  available on FamilySearch , on Ancestry, and on Heritage Quest Online at home with your public library card
    4. Death and cemetery records:  Social Security Death Index -- ; FindAGrave -- ; BillionGraves -- ; obituaries on FamilySearch and elsewhere
    5. Surname search on FamilySearch Catalog on
    6. RootsSearch -- extension in the Chrome browser that searches many websites --
    7. City directories:  see Don's notes on  Using City and Other Directories
    8. Genealogy search engines such as -- searches many free genealogy websites all at once; -- lots of free websites; -- go to a FHC to use this free or sign up with your LDS account; -- for name searches use quotation marks around the name to get only results for that person and can put years you want by adding things like "1900..1920" (without the quotes)
    9. Any genealogy records such as church records, including parish registers; vital records and indexes; military and pension records; county histories -- many online for free at HeritageQuest Online with your public library card; probate and other court records
  20. Can print temple ordinance cards at home now in some temple districts (includes St. George now)

  22. To find where immigrants entered the U.S. first check  and , since 90% of U.S. immigrants came through New York City -- Steve Morse --  has "One-Step" entry forms for both of these
  23. To find where immigrants went in the U.S. check the ship manifest since that sometimes listed their destination in the U.S. 
  24. US 1900 through 1930 censuses have year of immigration, native language, and source country
  25. Ancestry has an immigration index -- use it free at a FHC or with your LDS account
  26. Naturalization records are helpful since they tell where the person was living and application may give previous addresses and names used, but there is no central index of naturalization records in the U.S. and person could have been naturalized in many different courts 
  27. For more information and references see Don's notes on Tracing Your U.S. Immigrant Relative

  29. You may want to contact your living cousins for family information, reunions, and artifacts
  30. To see who is interested in particular genealogical records in FS FT click the "Watch" button to be notified of people making changes
  31. Online family trees usually require the name and email address of the submitter, e.g. RootsWeb, Ancestry, My Heritage, etc.
  32. Ancestral File Submission sheets -- 606 microfilms of the hardcopy submissions of notes and sources to the old Ancestral File when the submission was sent in on hardcopy -- films are available at FHL, BYU, and elsewhere -- little known, but has lots of FH data sources and documentation and who sent it in
  33. Outdated information may be helpful since you can type all or part of it into a search engine to see where it occurs and find a more recent email or snail-mail address or phone
  34. Internet Archive's The Wayback Machine may be helpful since it has "snapshots" of entire Internet at times past
  35. Some helpful websites for finding living people -- may be able to find enough information for free without having to pay for full results on the commercial sites 
    1. 1940 census is a big help in finding living descendants -- check indexes and, if you can't find them, check Enumeration Districts for where they lived; Steve Morse has one-step search forms --
    2. Steve Morse also has "One-Step" entry forms for several vital record indexes and directories -- can find the birthday of most people in a few minutes


  36. Descendancy research helps fill in FamilySearch Family Tree and may provide clues for extending your pedigree and for temple work.
  37. Many programs and resources are now available to help you find your cousins, descendants of your ancestors.

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