Soon I’ll be traveling to Salt Lake City for a much-needed getaway! My husband and I are combining work and leisure for this vacation. During the day, he will be attending a Biology workshop and I’ll be free to spend my time at the Family History Library! I’m preparing for the research trip by following some advice given by Amy Johnson Crow. Her advice includes: have a plan, have a backup plan, check the catalog before you go, and more. (Update: Diana and Nicole at The Family Locket also give some great advice about visiting the Family History Library! I can’t believe that I missed it before.)
I plan to dig deeper into the Weil side of my family tree. Last fall I broke down a long-standing brick wall in my genealogy research on Conrad and Louisa Weil. They are my great-great grandparents who lived in Pittsburgh at the end of the 19th century. Originally, we had little more than their names, birth dates and marriage date. We know that they came from Germany, but didn’t know the town or when exactly they arrived. We had the baptism dates for some of their children, but after Louisa died in 1898, the children were given to a local orphans’ home.
Due to some diligent reviewing of sources and the valuable help of the archivist at the Smithfield United Church of Christ in Pittsburgh, I tracked down additional children, and figured out what happened to Conrad after the children were given to the orphanage, and also discovered his death certificate and final resting place. The most valuable discovery was finding Conrad and Louisa’s names on a passenger list, providing an arrival date and their hometown in Germany!
My primary plan at the Family History Library is thus to request the records from the only church in their small hometown, and go from there. I’m hoping to find baptism and/or confirmation records, as well as their parents and any siblings. I’ve already tracked down the microfilm that I need in their catalog. It’s a lot to hope for, and I’ll be sure to report back about what I find!
In the remaining research time, I’ll be looking up some records about the other side of the family– the Tadds. I’m also hoping to relax a little bit and do some hiking! This will be my first visit to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, as well as the furthest west that I’ve ever been in the USA. Any advice for me?
3 thoughts on “Upcoming Family History Library Visit”
I’d recommend looking at some German spellings of common terms like “Birth” “Death” “Mother” “Father” “Marriage” “Confirmation”,etc. When you first sit down to look at the film, sometimes it takes a few minutes to figure out the basic columns. If you already recognize some of those columns, things move much faster.
In many of the German films I studied, there is a section in the register for Baptisms, another for Marriages, a third for Deaths, and sometimes registers for Confirmations and even communion attendance. Be sure to check back and forth in all the sections. A Baptism can give the parents names obviously, but the marriage will too. Confirmations often list the father but not the mother. Sometimes the same child’s name will appear more than once. Checking the death records can verify that the child died as an infant or at birth.
We can talk more. I have some samples of German Register pages you can look at. I’m jealous.
Dad (1st Generation Ancestor of EvaAnne) >
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How exciting! I’ll be headed up to Utah to visit, attend a wedding, the BYU family history conference, and of course research in the FH Library at the end of July. I can’t wait. Here’s my mom’s advice for researching there – http://familylocket.com/ten-steps-to-success-visiting-the-family-history-library/
My advice is – bring a snack! You’re not going to want to leave all day.
Thanks! I knew that I had read other advice about the FHL somewhere! I couldn’t remember where. Thanks for reminding me!