How to get the most from the WALF genealogy database

Know the features available in this database
    1.  Search For a Name in The Database.
    2.  Display Pedigree Charts.
    3.  Display Descendency Charts.
    4.  Download Gedcom Files.
    5.  Upload Gedcom Files.
    6.  Add Links.

Know the limits used when building the database.
    1.  Living People.
    2.  Genealogy Data Included.
    3.  Source Information.
    4.  Update Frequency.
    5.  Tree Structure.

Know the features available in this database

    1.  Search For a Name in The Database
        It's easy to search the data no matter which method you use.  You can decide for yourself which is best.

Method A:  If you select "Search for a name in the database,"  you will get an entry box in which to enter a name, or names.  If your entry is one name only, such as "Leavitt" the resulting choices might be too numerous.  It could be best to put in two or even three names such as Sarah Ann Sanborn, as an example, so as to narrow the list of choices to only one or as few as possible.  If you do this and don't get any matches, try the first and last names, or the second and last names when you search again.  If you still don't get the matches you're looking for, it may be that a little different spelling is called for.  In our database there is a Jeremiah Bachelder (b.1843) and a Jeremiah Batchelder (b.1800).  If you searched on only one of the possible spellings, you would not see the other one in the list of possible matches.

Method B:  If you select "Search an index of ALL surnames in the Leavitt database,"  you will see a screen that extends to a very large page full of surnames.  Using this method of searching will help you recognize the surnames you are interested in finding from those listed.  You might also notice several possible spellings of your surnames.  Don't make the mistake of assuming there is only one "correct" spelling.

Method C:  If you want to "Search the following sub-indexes:" you simply scroll down the list until you get to the range of names that should include the name of the person you want to find.  When you click on that range, you get a page with all the people in our file that fit into that range.  When you click on a name, you will see a family group with that person on the top line.

    2 & 3.  Display Pedigree or Descendant Charts
         Once you have found the name you were searching for, and the person's data (with family information)  is displayed, there is an option at the bottom of the screen, to display either a pedigree or descendency chart, if the data is available.  Click on one of these with you mouse, to view the chart.

    4.  Download Gedcom Files
         This option is also available at the bottom of an individual display screen.  You are asked for your e-mail address, and you select the kind of gedcom file you want (ancestors or descendants).  When you click on "Build GEDCOM, the program does this for you, and allows you to select a place to store it on your own computer.

    5.   Upload Gedcom Files
          Uploading data is done by attaching a gedcom, text, or picture file, to an e-mail message that is addressed to the webmaster       How to send a gedcom file by attaching it to an e-mail message, is the subject on a page at this link.

    6.  Add Links  (Not working at the present time -- not sure why, but the webmaster will add a link for you if you will send him an email message with your request)
Allows you to let others know of information you have that is not found in our database)
        This is another option that is available at the bottom of an individual display screen.  Two kinds of links can be added.  The first kind is very simple, in that you just type in your name and e-mail address, and the program adds a message at the bottom of the selected individual's display screen that says:  "yourname has more information on the selected person in an off-line database."
          Another kind of link may also be added, which can take the user to a different website where related information may be found.  When you are aware of data on another website where related information can be found, you may elect to enter the name of the other database in one entry box, and its URL (Internet address) in the other entry box, and click on "Save Link."   This link information is added to the "Links" section at the bottom of the selected individual's display screen.

Know the limits used when building the database

     1. Living People
            We follow the common practice of excluding birth and marriage information about living people in the data that is displayed on our website.  All information, including notes and source information and LDS ordinance data is retained in our master file for future reference.  Receiving complete details on living people makes it much, much easier to merge any overlapping data received from disparate sources.   We consider the master file a sacred trust, and hope you will work with us to make it as accurate and complete as possible.  We have allowed only members of our Family History Committee to view the file in its entirety.

    2. Genealogy data included
             Our association was organized in the beginning (1997) to include as a starting point, ancestors and descendants of the western migrating pioneers Jeremiah Leavitt (1760) and his wife Sarah Shannon.  We never did, however, limit ourselves in this way with regard to our genealogical database, and welcome information from all sources that will help to make it more complete and accurate.
            The advent of the Internet and our website has resulted in a veritable explosion of information linking many tens of thousands of cousins into the descendant lines of our immigrant ancestors, Deacon John Leavitt (1608) and Thomas Leavitt (1616).   Thanks to the tireless efforts of those on the WALF Family History Committee, and the many wonderful cousins who have shared their own research with us, our database has grown to be one of very large proportions.  It has become necessary for us to include only Leavitt descendants, and their spouses' parents in our file.  That means that most of the pedigrees you will see in the data are along the Leavitt direct lines.  For the ancestors not included, we have only a few links to other databases on the relevant ancestor database pages.

            We've become convinced that we should try to include all the Leavitt descendants we can find out about in our file, because so many cousins have found their connections to the family only after seeing familiar names of close relatives in our online data, and this service to them has been so gratefully received.
           We would be pleased to include any information regarding Leavitt descendants you would like to share with us.  As noted above, dates and places and notes for those who are living are excluded from our online (website) data, but everything is kept intact in our private file. We look forward to hearing from you  
    3. Source Information
            Sources for most of the data in our master file is documented properly.  There are pieces that need corroboration and further documentation.  Whenever new data is contributed and entered into the master file, a source citation is created giving credit to the submitter.  These are not visible on the website version of the file, but source information that is already entered in the database can be made available if requested.   Inquiries regarding source information should be directed to the database manager, Joseph Leavitt,

    4. Update Frequency
           Our intention is to publish an updated database about every other month.

    5. Tree Structure.
          There are many small trees in our data waiting to be connected to the one large tree that dominates the file.   When you see disconnected trees in our data that you know how to connect, please let us know.

Back To The Genealogy Database Master Index