Dear Family & Friends: We are having so many new and exciting adventures to tell you about. We get up around 5:45am and go as fast as we can until bedtime, learning our new responsibilities and having a peek at this BEAUTIFUL country. We hope in this blog we can express how blessed we are to testify of Jesus Christ and serve Him in this amazing corner of the world! HAERE MAI* to our blog, we're glad you are visiting us!.....(*This means 'WELCOME' in the Maori language)

Friday, September 9, 2011


Visiting genealogist, Judy A. Jones, with Michael Higgins, Pacific Area Manager for FamilySearch

Christchurch, New Zealand — "Family history can be a life-changing experience," according to a leading US genealogist visiting New Zealand. "Learning about your ancestors can bring perspective and understanding to your own life."
Judy A. Jones, a genealogist from FamilySearch based at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, United States, met with Christchurch genealogists last night at the Cashmere Chapel of The Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints. This was the eighth such meeting she has attended in New Zealand over the last two weeks.
Last night she provided updates on genealogical trends and developments, as well as outlined simple steps for beginners to get started.
FamilySearch began in 1894 under the name Genealogical Society of Utah and today is the largest genealogical organization in the world. Its records, resources and services are available to all, free of charge. The organization assists millions of people worldwide in learning more about their family history.
Sister Jones told last night's guests that there are over 2.4 million rolls of microfilm, over 1 million microfiche, and over 3.5 billion images of family history records stored in a vault deep inside a granite mountain on the outskirts of Salt Lake City, United States. Efforts to securely store important family records will make sure they are preserved and will survive earthquakes and all other disasters. The vault itself is designed to withstand a nuclear attack.
In 1998 FamilySearch began digital imaging of records and in 1May of 1999 the FamilySearch website was opened to the public. Just four months later the website surpassed 1.5 billion hits. Over two billion historical records are now available free of charge to anyone in the world on
Sister Jones explained the latest technological advances making FamilySearch easily accessible over the internet on and demonstrated how to use the site. There are nine major links to help find records, tools, training or information that will help anyone discover their family history. Historical records such as census, birth, marriage and death are collected from around the world and have been microfilmed or digitized and indexed. These are now available on the Internet. In addition, there are online catalogues of over two million rolls of microfilm and hundreds of thousands of books and maps from around the world located in the Family History Library collection in Salt Lake City, Utah. offers a variety of free online classes, as well as a collection of family history articles to aid with family history education and training.
Sister Jones says it is easy to get started with four step-by-step videos available to teach the basics. Additionally, for those who want to learn more about how to use these extensive resources, there are over 4,500 FamilySearch Centers operating in more than 100 countries, staffed by volunteers who are ready to help answer questions and assist with research.

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