Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Week in THE Library

Temple at Temple Square
My one week in Salt Lake City at the Family History Library went quickly, but with good research results. I had estimated the time it would take to complete my to-do list for the book I have been writing and fortunately I was right on target.  That left me with a couple days for personal research.

When I arrived at the local airport, the shocking news was that my luggage was 5 1/2 pounds overweight.  I was not willing to pay $100 one way to travel overweight.  With it on the scale, I began putting things into my purse and carry on luggage until it was of legal weight.  However, that meant that I could not shop in Salt Lake City and I could not bring home an abundance of paper copies.

There were several groups of researchers in the library.  They came from all parts of the United States.  Even so, there was never any lack of tables or film readers.  The only problem came on Thursday morning of that week when at about 8:30 a.m. there was an announcement over the loud speakers that the photocopy machines were not working.  As the day went on with no machines and signs were posted OUT OF ORDER, some people were disgruntled and others resorted to old-fashioned research ... taking notes by hand.  Fortunately I had brought my hand-held scanner for making copies.  Microfilm could be copied only by scanning to a flash drive.  By evening the photocopy machines were back in business.

Before leaving on the trip, I ordered vault film through the FamilySearch web page form.  Once there I learned that some had been put in the proper drawers on the second floor and others were in overflow drawers.  If you are needing vault film during your visit, order it in advance and inquire about it when you arrive.

Since I was there in May and June of this year, I was curious about any changes that have been made.  There is a large machine on the third floor that will copy pages from oversized books, two pages at once.  Having found a map in the map cabinet on that floor, I asked if it could be copied.  They did it for me in three sections on the machine and YGGG #2 has promised to piece it together for me.

Three times at the library over the last three years, I have tried to locate a certain land record in the 1790s Washington County, Tennessee microfilm.  It is indexed, but the records were not entered in any type of chronological order and the person microfilming them had cut off the page numbers at the top.  Once again, I was unable to find the deed.  Once home I contacted the courthouse at Jonesborough and they mailed me a copy of it.   I thought after the third time and no charm, it was time to ask for help.

Turning leaves in Temple Square
The weather was perfect the entire week.  Leaves were turning and falling and the temperatures were splendid.  After arriving on Sunday afternoon, October 16th, I had a late lunch with some people I met on the shuttle coming in from the airport.  Then I unpacked and went for a long walk around Temple Square.  The flowers were gone that had been so colorful in the spring and strings of Christmas lights were being strung on the trees.  The next few days bulbs were planted for spring blooms in 2012.

Fall splendor at Temple Square
My last day of research was spent on the British Isles floor, the second floor in the basement.  I attended a class on Wales research which proved to be enlightening and helpful.  Then I progressed to actual research in the records of Wales.  Seeing names on those old parish registers is so much fun!  While you are researching at the library, check out the class schedules.  They are free and informative, plus a good diversion from constant research.

I met old friends and made new friends at the library.  It is fun to chat and get caught up on what we are doing with our research and about our families.  I enjoyed flying to Salt Lake City, but it meant a different type of packing than when I drive.  Even with the body scans and pat downs in airport security (because of my two steel knees), it was a quick and easy way to get there and back home.

The last two weeks have been spent working diligently on my new book.  The electronic manuscript is being mailed to the publicist in the morning.  Do I have withdrawal?  Not yet.  I have gotten behind with my own research and cleaning up genealogy files.  As usual though, I find my mind wandering to the next trip to Salt Lake City and ideas for research.

You Go Genealogy Girl #1  Ruby


  1. I'm happy for you that you had such a good week, Ruby! Attending the free classes was a good idea-I hope to do that someday. Thanks for the beautiful Fall pictures too! Such a good post!

  2. Yay! The manuscript is on it's way!! Congratulations, Ruby.

  3. Enjoyed the daily reports from FHL...and SORT OF wished I had been there for more research too but I kept busy working on files here at home and looking for lost ancestors right here in Nebraska. Reports on them soon!



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