Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Friday, January 8, 2021

Genealogy During a Pandemic; an Update


We have all now been involved in a worldwide pandemic for almost a year. For many years now, I have been working online so the transitions to working at home that many people experienced did not affect me significantly. I just spent more time online. Learning to use a new online video conferencing program was also not much of a challenge because I had already done hundreds of classes and webinars online. 

Of course, there was and is a significant personal and family impact. However, in some ways, because our family is spread out across the world, we have developed ways to maintain contact with our family members that have increased our interaction as a family. 

With the increase in online communication, The Family History Guide began a major increase in its video output. In the past, I have worked with computer-aided video. I started back when the idea of using computers to edit video was in its infancy. As a dedicated photographer, I have completely embraced the digital image world. It has been a long time since I used film to take a photograph. I learned how to use some of the first video editing tools but the huge number of videos needed for The Family History Guide project gave me an incentive to acquire a professional level of competence. I started with spending a considerable time learning Adobe Premier Pro 2020 and then spending additional time learning all of the details of its operation and use. I also learned Adobe Audition and some of the other video-related programs. Here is one of the latest videos on The Family History Guide YouTube Channel.

The Family History Guide - Naturalization and Passenger Lists, Goal D2

These short videos and many others on our YouTube Channel focus on very specific research opportunities or on reinforcing learning specific tasks. The other series of videos on the YouTube Channel is called the "Show Me" videos. Here is one example. 

The Family History Guide FamilySearch P1 G1 Show Me

Many other members of The Family History Guide team have been directly or indirectly involved in helping me or in the making of additional videos. Here is an example of one of the recent videos made by Scott and Angelle Anderson.

Why I Absolutely Love The Family History Guide

In addition to being involved in videography, I have been busy with several other projects. One of these is the Facebook Live series of webinars. I have another Facebook Live appearance scheduled for January 27, 2021. 

In addition, as a missionary at the Brigham Young University Family History Library, I am teaching live classes each Sunday evening a 5:00 and continuing my monthly scheduled webinars. The classes are not recorded but the webinars are uploaded to the BYU Family History Library YouTube Channel along with videos produced by many other missionaries. Here is an example of a recent webinar from the YouTube Channel. 

Genealogy is a Life and Death Matter: Moving Beyond the Obvious Records

With all this video production, all the classes, and all the webinars, I have not been posting on my blogs as regularly as I did previously. In the near future, I may help start a weekly online Facebook Live broadcast and add even more videos to The Family History Guide YouTube Channel

As I usually do, I welcome emails, telephone calls, and text messages asking for help with your genealogy research. I have had some really interesting questions asked recently. 


  1. I've really been enjoying your webinars! I like to listen to them on Sundays while I crochet. Just yesterday I watched your super cool story of how you and your wife found Kerlin's Well, and it made me want to go on some family history adventures too!

    My grandpa claims that there's a concrete-block wall in Los Angeles that my great-great-grandpa built by hand during the Depression, using scrap metal as rebar. My grandpa says not even a tank could knock down that wall and it's likely still standing. I'd love to try to find it, although I think it's probably not as well-documented as Kerlin's Well due to not being connected with any historical expeditions!

    Fun fact about the Camel Corps: One of the other reasons why the soldiers found the camels so well-suited to travel in the Southwest was because the camels loved creosote. They would eat it so readily that the soldiers did not even have to carry food for the camels. You probably know this, but only a handful of native Southwestern animals eat creosote. However, fossil evidence has shown that camels seem to have actually originated in the Americas and later crossed the Bering land bridge into Asia. Their ancestors likely grazed on creosote, and their descendants never lost the taste for it. So for the camels in the Camel Corps, going to the Southwest was like going to the old family home.

    1. There is a definite connection when you stand next to something written or done by a great-grandparent you never knew.