Research Tips for Romania

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Fundamental Concepts in Family History

Elder Boyd K Packer once said:
"Family history work has the power to do something for the dead. It has an equal power to do something for the living. Family history work of Church members has a refining, spiritualizing, tempering influence on those who are engaged in it…
Family history work in one sense would justify itself even if one were not successful in clearing names for temple work. The process of searching, the means of going after those names, would be worth all the effort you could invest. The reason: You cannot find names without knowing that they represent people. When we research our own lines we become interesed in more than just names or the number of names going through the temple. Our interest turns our hearts to our fathers—we seek to find them and to know them and to serve them. In doing so we store up treasure in heaven."
"Your Family History: Getting Started", Boyd K Packer Aug 2003

That is what the difference is between genealogical research and family history work. Family history work includes the research for names, dates, and places of genealogy, but family history is so much more. Family history is getting to know the people to whom those facts belong. Their lives, and their stories. Building an eternal friendship. When you cultivate a friendship, you get to know as much about your new friend as you can. And you provide service to them, maybe something they can't do for themselves, like the temple ordinances. Family history is all about people, you and your ancestors.

And family history work is done one person at a time, just like the temple ordinances. As Elder Russell M Nelson said at the Worldwide Leadership Training in June 2013:
"When we follow Jesus Christ, we act as he would act and love as he would love. His objectives are accomplished one soul at a time."

The way, then, to organize family history is so that you will be able to do it one person at a time.

The Research Journal

One way to focus on one person at a time is to create and maintain a Research Journal. To create a journal, take an ordinary notebook. The notebook can be spiral, bound, or most any size that is comfortable for you. On each page, your write the name of one person, starting with your father. The next page is for your mother, and then your brothers and sisters. After that, put in pages for your grandparents and your aunts and uncles. Then, work you way back generation by generation.

Each page in the journal should look like this:


Code (from FamilySearch)
Birth date
Birth place
Marriage Date
Marriage Place
Death Date
Death Place

Fill in all the information you know about the person. Where you need to do research is where the information is blank.

Underneaath the information you create a table:

Date Source Source Description Information Received

The date is when you made the contact or received the information
The source is where you got the information.
The source description is any indentification that will help some else access the source, such aa library call number or file number.
The information received is what you found out.

Here is an example page:

Florin Marcu LBDT-9LS

born: abt 1894
place: Romania
married: abt 1916
place: Romania
death: 1962
place: Romania

Wife: Maria
Children: Stefan (m), Maria (f), Ion (m), Dumitru (m), Ecaterina (f) + 3 other children

Date Source Source Description Information received
1 Oct 2013 Mom telephone call Didn't know her grandfather
28 Oct 2013 CNSAS File # R218544 Death date, names of wife &

What do you then need for Florin Marcu? A birth certificate, marriage certificate, and death certificate.

You keep track of the research you need to do on a Research Report that looks like this:

Name Record Source
Florin Marcu Birth Certificate National Archive, Craiova
Florin Marcu Marriage Certificate Amaratii de Jos city offices
Florin Marcu Death Certificate Craiova city offices
Maria Marcu Headstone Craiova cemetary

The Research Report and Work Order

The Reseach Report becomes a to-do list. Don't worry about how long it is, just start at the top and work you way down, one task at a time. This way, family history work becomes less overwhelming. Writing one email or a letter is not so hard to do. But, be sure as you do the tasks, put them in the table on the person's page. If nothing else, it will keep you from doing the same thing twice.

If you notice that one source have information on several people, you can prepare a Work Order. For example, if several of your ancestors are buried in the same cemetary, just take one trip and get all the information from their headstones:

Craiova Cemetary
Florin Marcu 1962
Maria Marcu 1960
Adrian Ghinescu 1921
Alin Bobescu 1919

So, now you are organized in a way where family history is easier to do. Don't forget if you have trouble, talk to your branch family history consultant.