Monday, December 8, 2014

What was Christmas Like for Your Grandparents?

A Norwegian Christmas, 1846 painting by Adloph Tidemand

When thinking of Christmas, it is fun to think of the traditions that are often passed down through the generations and to learn the history behind them. 

Its even more interesting when you ask your grandparents to share some of the stories of what it was like for them on Christmas as children. Even your own parents will have different ways this special time of the year was celebrated within their family.

Often the responses will be filled with stories of different types of gifts, family coming together and perhaps even a story of how they helped another needy family nearby.

I've read a number of interesting stories where children have helped other children out with a gift, a coat, some shoes and food as well as the different types of toys they enjoyed playing with.

From the various ways to serve Christmas dinner to the way a tree is decorated, it all makes for fascinating stories to share and write down in a journal and in the notes on a specific person in your family history.

Different countries celebrate it differently, as most of us have ancestors who come from other countries, looking up how they celebrated Christmas would be a fun activity for all ages.

Of course the nativity scene set up in my home is very dear to our family along with the tree and all the trimmings.

Feel free to share your stories about past Christmases so that we all can enjoy them.

Comments Are Always Welcome!

Building Bridges for All Generations!

 (c) 2005-2015, Timeless Genealogies, All Rights Reserved

Monday, November 10, 2014

Thanksgiving...A Great Time to Add to Your Family History Research

With the Thanksgiving holiday 20 days away and all the necessary activities that go with it tends to bring on feelings of being overwhelmed. 

In spite of that, planning family activities on top of the cooking can be the perfect opportunity to include additional and not often included family members.

Usually the time spent together is often the time when individuals share memories from the past as well as discuss things that are happening in their lives today.

Lots of stories help to fill in the gaps of people's lives as well as writing down the events of the day. Adding family pictures will make this one of the best times to help add to your family history and create memories that can be passed down to your descendants. 

This combination can add to your collection of information, documents, stories and pictures as you progress through building your family history.

Thanksgiving is a time to enjoy family and be thankful for all we have. Please consider sharing your ideas, thoughts, successes and even failures as together we can help one another in the journey we call life.

Comments Are Always Welcome!

Building Bridges for All Generations!

 (c) 2005-2014, Timeless Genealogies, All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Follow-Up..

You've had your first visit and interview with an older relative. Its time to take that information and place it in your own files along with any extra items you acquired. Here are some thoughts and suggestions:

1. Send a "Thank You" note to that relative. You would be surprised how much that means to them and most likely they would have you over again and offer you additional information.

2. Transcribe the recorded meeting to the best of your ability.

3. Enter any pertinent information into your genealogical database software so that it is not lost.

4. Scan any photos, documents, newspaper clippings that they shared or allowed you to have and return them if they were only on loan.

5. Write up a little report for your own records, creating a story of that person and their family.

6. Be sure to get permission to share the stories, pictures and other items you acquired while visiting.

7. Share photos and other interesting stories you learned with other family members.

8. Creating a blog and/or add the story and pictures to FamilySearch FamilyTree for others to learn more about that individual. 

9. Pace yourself with each of these steps, review everything and ask another person to also review them with you. This will help to make sure all the information is collected and nothing is missing.

10. Store any items you now have in a file for that family so that you'll have them to refer to again in the future if needed.

11. Determine what additional information you need to locate from the new found information to continue your desire to fill your family tree.

Comments Are Always Welcome!

Building Bridges for All Generations!

 (c) 2005-2014, Timeless Genealogies, All Rights Reserved

Monday, October 13, 2014

Acquiring Information from a Relative

When it comes to gathering additional information, after you've added what you can, it is a good idea to ask other family members. Often in the same family, individuals remember events differently. An example of this is when a group of people look at a painting, each one in the group sees different things in that painting.

Additionally, older members of the family will have memories that younger family members may not even be aware of as they were not part of the family yet. Case in point, my mother was the youngest and my aunt was the oldest, so when I approached each of them for family history information, while some of the information was the same, a good majority of it was different.

Some preparation is suggested in order to have greater success, not everyone remembers everything when just asked on the spot. Placing a phone call, writing a letter or even sending an email with some pre-set questions is often very helpful for the older family member. This gives them time to perhaps look things up and write them down so that when you visit they are more prepared.

Set a time that is convenient for them and bring some recording equipment, as recalling specific events can sometimes trigger interesting family stories or situations that help to bring life to the typical birth, marriage and death dates.

Be sure to let them know how much you appreciate their time and to send a 'Thank You' note once you have visited.

So what kinds of questions do you ask? There are a number of online articles to help with this,  Family Tree Magazine has put together a simple list of 20 Questions for Interviewing Relatives which is a great start. Another help is from Climbing Your Family Tree called "Good Questions for Family Interviews" which is also printable. FamilySearch also has a simple sheet that can be printed to help from their youth section in the FamilySearch Research Wiki entitled "A Family History Interview".

There are plenty of helps to make this a wonderful time spent with older and other family members. Spending time with family is always a great opportunity to create lasting relationships with those we love!

Comments Are Always Welcome!

Building Bridges for All Generations!

 (c) 2005-2014, Timeless Genealogies, All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Budding Updates..New Beginnings

It's been a few weeks since posting an article but we've been packing since the middle of July to move from Utah to Missouri. 

My Social Media presence was dramatically affected with the task of packing our whole home, loading PODs, driving here and then unloading and now setting up a new home.

Here is a picture of my unpack and organize:

I'll soon be posting my tips, hints and articles to help those who are just beginning and/or consider themselves to be "Budding Genealogists".

To end on a happy note, here is a view from a bay window:

I come sit here and gaze when I need a break from my boxes.

Comments Are Always Welcome!

Building Bridges for All Generations!

 (c) 2005-2014, Timeless Genealogies, All Rights Reserved

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Time to Choose Your Software Program

We've reviewed Ancestral Quest, Family Tree Maker, Legacy Family Tree and Roots Magic. Each program has a free scalled down version and it is recommended that you download each one and give them a try till you find the one you are most comfortable with!

Here are the links to those reviews once again for easy access:

Ancestral Quest (First) (Second)

Family Tree Maker (First) (Second)

Legacy Family Tree (First) (Second)

Roots Magic (First) (Second)

Feel free to let us know or to share your thoughts and reasons for a specific software over another. This is the best way to help one another out as we work together to grow our family trees and create a wonder family history for generations to come.

Comments Are Always Welcome!

Building Bridges for All Generations!

 (c) 2005-2014, Timeless Genealogies, All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Roots Magic: Learning About Other Features

There is a timeline that grows as you add information, you can add your own facts by highlighting a person and clicking on "Add a fact".

One can also set colors on specific people by going to "Tools" and clicking on "Color Code People"


Clicking on "Web Search" allows one to choose where on the web to search for the hightlighted person:

A great choice of sites is available to conduct research for your ancestor! 

Adding sources is easy using their templates to enter in your information in just the right location:

As with the other software programs reviewed, Roots Magic has all the necessary components to help you maintain your family datafiles.

Now the choice is yours: we have reviewed Ancestral Quest, Family Tree Maker, Legacy Family Tree and now Roots Magic.

Take your time, try out all their free versions and enjoy!

Comments Are Always Welcome!

Building Bridges for All Generations!

 (c) 2005-2014, Timeless Genealogies, All Rights Reserved

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Roots Magic

Our last genealogical software product that we will review for two blog articles is Roots Magic. According to their website, they have been been creating computer software with a purpose-to unite families. 

Once installed, you have the option to "Create a new file":

Adding my father to the file was simple with the following results:

To add his spouse, one just has to click "Add" and then click "Spouse". One can easily add the marriage date with the end results as follows:

As one slowly adds the information to this family, one's pedigree begins to grow.
As each place is entered, it is checked for accuracy with a feature called CountyCheck. This feature can be turned off it wanted, but it will tell you if that place existed on the date you entered for the event for US, Canada, UK or Australia.

Next week we will delve into the other features of RootsMagic.

Comments Are Always Welcome!

Building Bridges for All Generations!

 (c) 2005-2014, Timeless Genealogies, All Rights Reserved

Friday, June 27, 2014

Legacy Family Tree: Behind the Beginning Screens

In our last blog we learned how to beginning to enter in one's family vital information. The data entry is not complicated if you have all the information. Once you have done that the next thing to do could be to look for additional information on your ancestor.

With your ancestor in the main view, click on the "Research Guidance" which is the last icon under their main information, here is what the icon looks like:

Once you click that you are presented with some choices across the top as tabs:
1) Define Timeline
2) Preliminary 
3) Suggest Sources
4) To Do Lists

Each has something to offer, however, if it is research one is wanting to do, #3 is the best option as it shows you possible records to search to learn additional information about your ancestor. 

Even the seasoned researcher can pick up some hints from this research guidance.

The reports section has every kind of chart and report one would expect from this type of sofware.

They include pedigree charts, family group sheets, statistics reports, a publishing center, ancestor book, descendant book, a descendant narrative book, multiple lines of descendant book, blank charts and wall charts. There wall charts is impressive as they provide the following choices:

It looks like this software along with the others has all the necessary features to help you build your family tree, research your tree with some additional hints and create a beautiful wall chart to share with other family members.

It does have the necessary LDS features that are most important to them.

Remember. they have many tutuorials at various levels right on their website here.

As a side note, Legacy Family Tree provides a service to all those wanting to learn more about researching through their Legacy Family Webinars which are held regularly. If one can't make it, one can easily, for a small fee, download it and learn! What a great service they provide. To learn more about their webinars, please click here.

Our next blog will be reviewing Roots Magic.

Comments Are Always Welcome!

Building Bridges for All Generations!

 (c) 2005-2014, Timeless Genealogies, All Rights Reserved

Friday, June 20, 2014

Legacy Family Tree

For the next 2 weeks we will explore Legacy Family Tree software, the 3rd in a series of 4 genealogical software reviews by Budding Genealogists.

Originally Legacy Family Tree (Legacy) was released in June, 1997 through Millennia Corporation. The original authors were Ken McGinnis and Dave Berdan.

The program is now in its 8th edition which was released on 26 November 2013.

As with the previous software packages, Legacy comes in additional languages. A person's family file can be opened in Microsoft Access which could be helpful if Legacy wasn't available on the computer an individual is on.

After one installs their program, you are prompted to begin your family file by giving it a name. Once you have done that the first screen showing allows you to begin enterin in your family's vital information along with media and sources as with the other software programs. 

For the purposes of this demonstration, I'll start with my grandfather on my father's side. A simple 'Click to add Person' is most visible and data entry is not a problem either:

To the right of the locations is the ability to see it on a map as well as adding the Geo location. Additionally events can be added through this screen along with photos, notes and additional information.

Note that there also is a place to enter DNA information from the various companies at the bottom right.

Once the family data has been entered, there are a number of additional items of interest right on the family screen. I've marked up just one side as it is the same for all in this position.

With this family entered, lets see what their pedigree form looks like:

Legacy's pedigree form is similar Ancestral Quest and PAF so far with Family Tree Maker being Vertical like on their website.

In the next blog we'll look at their Research Guidance, To-Do Lists and Timeline so that you can make a good choice when choosing the genealogical software for you.

Under the "Help" button, one can click on "Beginners Video" to help you make the best use of this software product.

Additionally, there are online lessons available from their website, just click here.

Their website is

Comments Are Always Welcome!

Building Bridges for All Generations!

 (c) 2005-2014, Timeless Genealogies, All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Delving Deeper into Family Tree Maker

Taking a closer look at the above screen will help one to better navigate within the program. Notice that the workspace this screen is on is the People Work Space. Here one can add all one's family members.

The Family View section looks like this after beginning to enter the children of this couple.

This family had 16 children so it will take some time to enter them all in. For each person added, one needs to provide proof which is where the collected documents come to play. To the right of the above screen is the information on the highlighted individual, clicking the book brings up the following screen:

Clicking "Add New Media" allows one to add documents, pictures, newspaper clippings, etc. that is located on your own computer.

Notice that you can also scan a record to add to your media collection.

Another section worth mentioning that will be of great help as one wants to share their family history with other family members. The section is under the work space Publish, here one can choose from a large selection of reports and charts as well as customized charts.

Web Search allows one to search,, and for additional records and information.

Family Tree Maker has many other features that are covered in the following resources, one should keep an open mind and check out each software to find the one you are most comfortable in using.

There are videos and tutorials available for FTM in a variety of places:
Next week's blog will take a look at Legacy Family Tree.

Comments Are Always Welcome!

Building Bridges for All Generations!

 (c) 2005-2014, Timeless Genealogies, All Rights Reserved

Friday, May 23, 2014

Family Tree Maker

This week we are sharing information on the 2nd of 4 genealogical software programs.

Family Tree Maker (FTM) is available for both a PC and a Mac which eliminates any emulators needed to run windows based software on a Mac.

FTM is advertisted as the #1 selling family history software and allows an individual researcher to keep track of family information, add sources and citations from documents as well as pictures. Once the information is added, one can also print up reports and charts to present the entered information in a variety of different formats.

As with the previous software, you begin with yourself, your parents, siblings, grandparents, etc. Most of this information is what you already know. Do take time to question those in your family who are older, hopefully they will be able to help you as you start to collect valuable family history information.

When you finish installing the program, you will be asked to register it with and they offer a 14 day free trial with that registration if you currently not an member. The first screen to enter data is a little different from Ancestral Quest and looks like this:

Notice that it has the usual fields to fill in but this has an additional one as you are just beginning and allows you to name the tree in this first screen. If you had a tree on Ancestry, you can download it straight from within the program. Entering in the fields is not complicated and when you begin to enter the places a drop down allows you to enter the place with the full proper name. Once entered you hit continue and you are taken to an "Auto Search Question" like this:

If I click on the "OK" Ancestry will go out to its site and search for the individual I just entered, however, since you are new to this I would recommend not to allow that and enter what you know to be accurate and true before linking into someone else's data that could be right or wrong. By clicking the "NO", it immediately brought me to a beginning Pedigree. I started with my father who passed away in 1984.

Adding individuals is as simple as clicking on "add Father", "add Mother" or "add Child" like this:

There are 2 types of Pedigree views, traditional to the side and vertical:


As you build your family tree, there will be more to view in each of these pedigree views. We'll show some of the charts in the next blog. 

There are videos and tutorials available for FTM in a variety of places:
Next week's blog will delve just a bit deeper into Family Tree Maker.

Comments Are Always Welcome!

Building Bridges for All Generations!

 (c) 2005-2014, Timeless Genealogies, All Rights Reserved

Friday, May 9, 2014

Ancestral Quest: Simple but Powerful...

Ancestral Quest (AQ) family tree software is the easiest to use and most versatile genealogy program for Windows on the market according to many who use this software product. 

Of of the main draws is the fact that the format is perfect for the beginner and yet powerful enough for the most advanced genealogist. Easy data entry, keyboard shortcuts, scrapbooking, and excellent sourcing capabilities are just some of this genealogy software program's wonderful award-winning features.

Create professional looking Pedigree Charts, Family Group Sheets, Ancestry charts, Descendant charts, genealogy book reports, fan charts and more. Additionally, there are links from within the program that allow you to search on other online databases such as, and others that you can add yourself saving you research time.

A program description is found here from their website:, additionally, there is a "Quick Start Video Tutorial" available from the website that covers all the basics and some of the not so basic features, however, one is free to just follow one at a time.

When you are just beginning you would most likely have an empty family file so a pedigree view would look like this.

As the above is blank, the Family view it would also be blank, but you can begin to enter your own information as the first person in the file. The following screen is what comes up when you begin to add an individual. Once the information is added, you just click 'Save'.

Simple data entry:

Of course even with this simple data entry, one would want to provide a location of where this information came from which could simply be a birth certificate.

The next logical step would be to add the parents and siblings and so begins the journey of building one's family tree.

While these are simple steps, it is these simple steps that one takes to begin ones' own family history.

The data entry is simple yet provides one with the opportunity to add sources and citations for each person so that one can know for sure the individuals in their family file are members of their own family.

To learn more about purchasing Ancestral Quest, contact them at 1-800-825-8864. For technical support contact them at 801-280-4434. If you wish to just send an email query, you can so at

Enjoy the simplicity and power of this full-featured genealogical software!

Next: A review of Family Tree Maker 

Comments Are Always Welcome!

Building Bridges for All Generations!

 (c) 2005-2014, Timeless Genealogies, All Rights Reserved