Image result for box of chocolates


[Email: Dece,ber 2018] 

As a side tangent to my recent article about genealogical collaboration – I thought the following would be of interest to many of you.

I can totally empathize with those people who kind of had a bad taste left in their mouth after they tried to use FamilySearch/Family Tree – as a tool to build their own family database  - where they expected to have “total control” and not be annoyed by other people making changes to the same family tree data (and maybe adding items that weren’t exactly correct).   But truth is – Family Search Family Tree was never designed for the specific expectation in the first place.  It was by its  basic underlying architecture to be a collaborative system – and not one where each person works in their own “silo”.    There are plenty of other tools that can be purchased for a nominal fee that do allow people to create their own private stand alone database.  Familysearch is not trying to compete with those applications.

Having said that, though, I fear way too many people are throwing the “baby out with the wash water” – when they decide not to use FamilySearch – simply because one aspect of it – didn’t meet their need.

In my mind – FamilySearch is like a BOX OF HOLIDAY CHOCOLATES – there is a box with a multitude of varied chocolates in various shapes and colors and flavors.

There might be a few – that seem to initially attract people’s  attention  - maybe because of their special shape or colored wrapping –   and it might be these same few that seem to provide an unexpected feeback as people try to savor it.  BUT – the box is big – and there is plenty of variety – and something that virtually everyone would like can be found in the box.   I feel bad when people seem to set aside the candy box of FamilySearch  – thinking the one chocolate they did try that wasn’t to their liking – is representative of the entire box as a whole.

Family Search’s collaborative Family Tree – is just one component of a very large system.  To judge FamilySearch by this one sub-component really is totally unfair.  I feel that there is something valuable in FamilySearch – for just about anyone – even if Family Tree itself  – doesn’t make sense for a particular person’s use.  And especially keeping in mind that FamilySearch is FREE of any fee based service payments – as contrasted to companies like


Here, below,  is a just a subset of various items freely available at FamilySearch that may be of value to the average Family Researcher.

Some of these may surprise you.


I do suggest, however, that if you haven’t already – you create a FREE account (no cost – no strings attached) – as some of the links may or may not work without an account.  To create a free account click here.

Here is just one example of a  Brazilian Passport Card for a Yancey travelling abroad:



Here are some examples:

Searching the Catalog:

                Example of Yancey resources:

                Examples of PDF versions of resources available on line:


Here is a listing of Yancey resources in libraries around the world.

(see the list of libraries on the left column)


also consider referencing the Worldcat:  (linked from – but external to external Familysearch)


Click here as an example for Yancey:

I have been able to find  many HIGH QUALITY images of my ancestors – when before I may have only had a poor quality Xerox copy.

It’s a great way for family to exchange and share quality family photos.

                Please consider scanning and uploading your family photographs to FamilySearch.  (Even after submission – they remain in you control)



They will then (if you grant permission) allow it to be available on line – so all your family can access it to.

There may not be a need for you to physically print a book with all the costs that such entails.

Here, in link below,  is an example of a compilation by Yancey Researcher Martha Hipp Dickson – that was recently made available on line.
If any of you have any reports, family albums, family stories, research notes – that you want to ensure is preserved for others – please contact me and I can help you walk to ropes of having your item digitized.










Here is a good link:

BUT also be aware that there are some lesser known ways that you can actually download a family tree from FamilySearch into one of these applications – so as to avoid having to type in thousands of names manually into your database.

Let me know if you are interested in learning more.

Obviously not all data in FamilySearch can be trusted and is backed up by primary sources – but none the less – in many cases – this is a nice feature that allows you to avoid hundreds of hours of manual tedious data input.

As an example – I have one database that has nearly 100,000 records – that was downloaded via a special tool from Family Search Family Tree.  Allowing me to further analyze this data locally for an incredible number of people.


One caveat:  Though Familysearch is free – there are some links to other external “partner” sites – that may be fee based.

But I have to say there are billions of free records within FamilySearch – - ignore the items that are fee based external links initially  – and if of real interest – look for ways you may be able to get access via others for free.





"Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater" is an idiomatic expression for an avoidable error in which something good is eliminated when trying to get rid of something bad, or in other words, rejecting the favorable along with the unfavorable.


SO .  . .   Don’t throw the baby out with the wash.  

Or the chocolates out with the box . . ..




Don't throw out the baby with the bathwater


Proverbs are intended to pass on popular wisdom and are frequently expressed as warnings - 'don't count your chickens', 'don't look a gift horse in the mouth' and so on. 


To that list of don'ts we can add the odd-sounding 'don't throw the baby out with the bathwater'. Sadly, any discussion of the origin of this proverb has to refer to the nonsensical but apparently immortal email that circulates the Internet 'Life in the 1500s' (or 1600s, as some variants have it). One of the claims in one version of that mail is that "in medieval times" people shared scarce bathwater and by the time that the baby was bathed the water was so murky that the baby was in danger of being thrown out unseen. Complete twaddle, of course.


What is unusual about this phrase is that, quite by chance, the mischievous author of 'Life in the 1500s' hit on a correct date - the proverb did originate in the 1500s. 'Throw the baby out with the bathwater' is a German proverb and the earliest printed reference to it, in Thomas Murner’s satirical work Narrenbeschwörung (Appeal to Fools), dates from 1512. Murner wrote in German of course, but we hardly need a translator as he was good enough to include a woodcut illustrating the proverb. The expression was part of everyday German language from then onward (as 'Schüttet das Kind mit dem Bade aus') but didn't emerge in English until the 19th century.