Sunday, February 9, 2020

San Diego Genealogical Society Presents Laurice Johnson

Laurice Johnson was the presenter at this month’s San Diego Genealogical Society Monthly Meeting. She is a long time researcher and an active member of the Temecula Valley Genealogical Society. Laurice was an informative presenter with many examples.

Laurice’s first presentation was entitled Facebook! And Websites! And Blogs! Oh My!
In this presentation we learned about how helpful Facebook can be with all the many genealogical groups available.  Be careful to protect your privacy by being safe and smart when using Facebook and don't forget to set 'Notifications' for the groups you want to follow on Facebook. We also learned about a website run by Katherine R. Wilson ( that contains lists of genealogical and historical pages available on Facebook. What an amazing site this is! Laurice also talked about Webinars on YouTube, University Archives, Message Boards on Roots Web and Ancestry, BooksUSGenWeb and Blogs. Did you know there are over 23 million ‘genealogy blogs’? Katherine R. Wilson even has lists of country specific research blogs. SDGS members alone author at least 10 ongoing Blogs!

Laurice’s second presentation was entitled Family Search-The Other ‘beast’ of Genealogy Research!
In this presentation Laurice went into details about the immense, free, FamilySearch website and the millions of pages of records to be found there. Not all records there are currently searchable or indexed. Laurice walked us through using the WIKI for searching through the Online Genealogy Records. Records can be located by looking for records available for a particular location. This will let you know where to look for records and another way will allow you to search for the records that are available for a particular location.

  • Previously, I had not been able to locate the Will of my maternal great-grandfather Jacob Hamman. When I searched the Wiki for records in Iowa and then looked for Probate records I first found:

(click on images to enlarge)

  • This led me to Ancestry and an index of Probate records:

  • Then by scanning through the microfilm records I was able to locate the record for Jacob Hamman:

  • YEA! Success! Now, at last, I have the record and I will be able to transcribe the Will at a later date.

There are Research Tools available as well as How-To Videos about using the Wiki. FamilySearch also has “Community” groups where you can post a copy of a document in another language that someone at FamilySearch can translate for you. This will be a tremendous help for me when I finally locate some German records for ancestors.

The “Tree” at FamilySearch is a worldwide tree that anyone can add it. The “Tree” can be changed so be sure to add your sources if you decide to change something and keep your own records apart from the “Tree”.

Reminder-the light bulb at the bottom of the page on FamilySearch is your ‘help’ area.

If you have any corrections or additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.
Enjoy the journey,


  1. Sounds like an interesting presentation. Thank you for sharing some of what you learned. I know I do not use the FS Wiki's nearly as much as I should.

    1. Thank-you Diane. I so rarely use them also but I am glad I tried it and will have to use it more often.

  2. Debby, may I copy the Facebook link for Gene pages on my page for Genealogical Society of Palm Beach County? (FL) I think this would be of help to our membership.
    Carol L Heap
    Board of GSPBC

    1. Hi Carol. I think that would be fine. Thank-you for reading the post!