Remember when I wrote about being prepared for the strange “twists and turns” that can happen when you’re researching your family tree?
Well, I don’t know how anyone could prepare themselves for this kind of surprise.
A Utah woman who was remodeling her basement found a surprise hidden behind a shower wall: a tombstone dating from 1900! The gravestone belongs to a a 13-year-old boy. You can read more about how it got to be hidden behind a wall in someone’s basement by clicking on this link.
In another interesting twist, some Japanese officials are making plans to locate and identify the remains of thousands of Japanese soldiers who were buried in mass graves following the Battle of Iwo Jima during WWII. The existence of the more than 2,000 graves was confirmed by records in the U.S. National Archives. This will provide some closure to thousands of Japanese families. Read more by clicking this link.
And Ancestry.com just keeps expanding its reach!
The Utah-based company announced Friday that it has acquired Pro-Genealogists, Inc., a professional genealogy research firm based in Salt Lake City. The 10-year-old firm does domestic and international research for clients located all over the world.
Why Utah you may ask?
For all you genealogy newbies out there – the largest cache of genealogical records in the world is located in Salt Lake City.
Historians have the Church of the Latter Day Saints to thank for locating, microfilming, categorizing and digitizing and storing records from all over the world. And best of all, they are willing to share the wealth with the rest of us. Even if you’re not a member of the LDS Church!
Why do the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints place such great emphasis on genealogical research? Because it is part of their church doctrine. You can read a more detailed explanation that explains why tracing their family history is so important to them by clicking this link.
The church sends teams of people all over the world to microfilm records of baptisms, marriages, wills, etc. This microfilm may be, in some cases, the only copy of a particular record left!
These microfilms are housed in a specially constructed, temperature and humidity controlled environment under Granite Mountain in Utah.
The 65,000-square-foot mountain facility is 55 degrees Fahrenheit, has filtered air and is kept at 35 percent humidity. It’s under 700 feet of granite in the mountains of the Little Cottonwood Canyon.
There are more than 2.4 million rolls of microfilm stored there that are now in the process of being digitized so they can be shared with researchers around the world online!
That is great news for genealogy researchers!
You can read more about the digitizing effort underway at Granite Mountain by clicking this link.