Genealogy Blog

Do You Plan on Writing Your Own Obituary?

04 Apr 2014

We asked and you answered! Last week we asked if you were planning on writing your own obituary.

Do you plan on writing your obituary?

Over 62% of you would like to write your obituary someday, while 23% of you are super prepared and already have a rough draft written! Ten percent of our community would prefer to have someone else write their obituary and five percent plan on living forever (as do I). Looking for some inspiration for writing your own obituary? Check out Chief Genealogist Michael J. Leclerc’s article “Have you Written Your Obituary Yet?” He reminds us that when we make all the preparations for the end of our lives, we all too often forget to think about our own obituaries. We hope this poll inspired you to take some time to think about how you would like to be remembered.

Looking to research obituaries? You can search for death records on Mocavo at

Take this week’s poll: How long have you been researching your family history?

04 Apr 2014

This week we would like to know: “How long have you been researching your family history?”

Have you discovered any Irish heritage in your family history research

22 Mar 2014

We asked and you answered! Last week we asked, “In honor of Saint Patrick’s Day, we would like to know if you have discovered any Irish heritage in your family history research?”

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To our surprise over 85% of our members have found Irish ancestors on either their father or mother’s side of their family! If you are looking for more information regarding your Irish ancestors, don’t forget that we have a ton of Irish databases all available for you to search individually for free. You can find all of our records from Ireland at We also have some helpful articles about Irish research in our learning center. Read about the Placenames Database of Ireland which currently contains the names of more than 61,000 townlands, almost 3,500 electoral districts, more than 2,500 civil parishes, and thousands of other names.

Be sure to take next week’s poll: “Do You Plan on Writing Your Own Obituary?


Having Trouble Taking Advantage of our Mocavo Gold Free Access Weekend?

13 Mar 2014

We want to make sure that no one misses out on a free Mocavo Gold access weekend! So here are some troubleshooting ideas for you!

You must have a Mocavo Basic account and be logged in to participate in the free Mocavo Gold access weekend.

  • To create an account, please visit and simply enter an email address and password. Signing up for a Mocavo Basic (Free) account allows you to create a profile where you can upload family trees and family history documents and photos as well as connect with other members, get help from Mocavo Support, and get emails on genealogy tips and Mocavo updates.
  • If you already have a Mocavo Basic account, you can sign in by visiting and click the sign in button on the top right corner of your computer screen. Simply enter your email address and password and you’ll be on your way to a weekend full of discoveries.

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2. If you already are logged in to your Mocavo Basic account and still cannot access Mocavo Gold features, there could be a caching issue.

If you need to reset your password, follow these easy steps:

  • Click the sign in link at the top right hand side of your screen
  • Click on the “forgot my password link”
  • Enter your email, click submit, and password reset instructions will appear in your email shortly
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If you’re still having difficulties, please do not hesitate to email our support team at We are always happy to help!

Mocavo Gold Search in 5 Easy Steps

13 Mar 2014

Mocavo Gold makes it easy to search for your ancestors, share your discoveries, and preserve your family history for future generations to enjoy. This step-by-step guide will walk you through getting the most out of your Mocavo Gold search experience.

1. On the Mocavo menu bar, click search.

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2. Fill out the Mocavo Gold search form

Our simple search form allows you to enter your ancestor’s first name, last name, and any relevant keywords. If you are not exactly sure what you’re looking for, keep your search as broad as possible. Once you fill in the search fields, click the green search button to reveal your results.

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The most relevant results will display first. If you do not get any relevant results on your first attempt, try broadening your search by only entering an ancestor’s first and last name, then use our faceted search filters to narrow down your results.

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3. Narrow down your results with faceted search filters

Take advantage of our filtering options on the left side of the screen.

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You can filter by record category, date, and location.

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For example, let’s say you only want to look at birth records. First click on the section entitled “Birth, Marriage, Death.”

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Then, you can filter your results even further by clicking on the category entitled “Birth.” Accordingly, your search results list will only display records categorized as birth records. You can select multiple search filters at once.

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Still not sure about how to use faceted search?
Check out our 1 minute tutorial here.

4. View more results on your page

If you want to view more results on each page, simply click on 10, 25, or 50 results per page

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In your list of results, you will see a document preview, which gives you a sneak-peek at where your ancestor’s name is found in the document.

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Once you click on a search result, you will be redirected to either a website, a record index page, or a high-definition image of the record. Your search keywords will be highlighted in the document, so you can easily scan the record for relevant information.

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5. Print, share, or download documents

You can easily share documents you find with family members and friends through social media or email. Simply click on any of the mediums under “share discovery” and share away!

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Printing or downloading a document or image is easy! Simply click on the corresponding green button at the top of the page.

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If you have any other questions about the Mocavo Gold search experience, please do not hesitate to contact our support team at We would be happy to help!

Having trouble accessing Mocavo Gold features during our free access weekend? Check out this blog post for some handy troubleshooting tips.

Have any of your ancestors ever been featured on the silver screen?

08 Mar 2014

We asked and you answered! Last week we asked, “Have any of your ancestors ever been featured on the silver screen.”

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An exciting eleven percent of our community members have had their ancestors’ stories shared in either feature films or documentaries. A few weeks ago, our Chief Genealogist Michael J. Leclerc wrote an interesting article about the importance of using documentaries to help add context to the lives of your ancestors. In his own words: “documentaries don’t get nearly the press they deserve. They are often thought of as slow and boring. But many of them tell interesting stories very well. You might find stories of the places your ancestors lived, or the activities they might have been involved in. You might even get lucky enough to have a documentary made about an ancestor. Try going to to find a film that might be helpful to you.” Although 87% of our members have not seen any of their ancestors in a feature film or documentary, it’s important to remember that although they may not have had a staring role, you can still learn a lot about what life could have been like for them.

Don’t Miss Out on this week’s Fireside Chat with Judy Russell

25 Feb 2014

Join us this Wednesday at 1:00 P.M. EST for a lively discussion between Chief Genealogist, Michael J. Leclerc and the Legal Genealogist, Judy Russell. The famous genealogist with a law degree, Judy writes, teaches and lectures on a wide variety of genealogical topics, ranging from using court records in family history to understanding DNA testing.

Judy Russell

A Colorado native with roots deep in the American south on her mother’s side and entirely in Germany on her father’s side, she is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, the National Genealogical Society and numerous state and regional genealogical societies. She has written for the National Genealogical Society Quarterly and National Genealogical Society Magazine, among other publications. On the faculty of the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, the Institute for Genealogy and Historical Research in Alabama, and the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, she is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, from which she holds credentials as a Certified Genealogist℠ and Certified Genealogical Lecturer℠.

You can tune in to tomorrow’s Fireside Chat at 

Are you planning on taking advantage of all RootsTech has to offer?

22 Feb 2014

We asked and you answered! Last week we asked, “Are you planning on taking advantage of all RootsTech has to offer?“ Over forty percent of our members stated that they have watched or plan to watch recorded sessions from the annual family history event. It’s also very exciting to see that 21% of you have already watched or plan to watch livestreamed sessions. Our own Chief Genealogist Michael J. Leclerc gave many presentations at RootsTech, including one that was recorded. If you are interested in learning how to share your family history research with multimedia, you are in luck! You can watch Michael’s recorded presentation on the RootsTech website at: We hope the 5% who attended the conference had as much fun as we did! If you are planning on going to any other conferences this year, check out Michael’s article entitled “5 Tips for Attending a Conference” to make sure you are fully prepared to enjoy yourself. There are a bunch of great conferences coming up this year and we hope many of you will be able to expand your family history knowledge by attending a few, either in person, or virtually.


Don’t forget to check out our bi-monthly newsletter or Facebook page to take our next poll: “Have any of your ancestors ever been featured on the silver screen?

Have you used your genealogical research to help with family health issues?

08 Feb 2014

We asked and you answered! Last week we asked, “Have you used your genealogical research to help with family health issues?” More than 50% of our members have used some type of family history evidence to help with family health issues. Forty-one percent of our community members have no used genealogical research to help with family health issues.

It is important to remember that family history includes not only your ancestors, but your descendants as well. Your family health history can be very significant to the health of future generations in your family. In many cases, individuals are researching their family because it is quite literally a matter of life or death. For a large number of individuals, the impetus for starting to research their family is for medical and health reasons. Others learn of health issues as they start researching, and seek to discover more. You can find out more about how family health histories can affect your future generations in the following articles: “Changing the Rules for Tracing Cancer in Your Family” & “Angelina Jolie’s Adventure in Family History

Don’t forget to check out our bi-monthly newsletter or Facebook page to take our next poll: “Are you planning on taking advantage of all RootsTech has to offer?


Family History Research & Health