• As part of its records digitization program, FamilySearch has digitized Utah’s historic brand books. You can access the images free at the state archives’ Web site.
City slickers may or may not know brand books show the identifying symbols more than 42,000 Utah ranchers branded onto their livestock (ouch!). Ranchers had to register their brands and ear marks with the state agriculture department.
Books from about 1849 to 1930 are digitized, with images linked to a full text search and name index. Each entry in the brand book can include an illustration of the brand, the name and county of the person registering it, registration date, and the location on the animal’s body.
• At your next Family History Center (FHC) visit, you can log your finds on its computers using the same commercial software or utility you have at home. Or, you can try out a new program—free. Here are the programs newly available on FHC computers:
- Ancestral Quest
- Legacy Family Tree
- Personal Historian (helps you write about your family)
- Family Atlas (creates maps based on your family data)
- Map My Family Tree (creates maps based on your family data)
- Genelines (helps you create ancestral timelines)
- Pedigree Analysis (submit your family file for research advice)
- PAFWiz 2.0 (add-on tools for for Personal Ancestral File)
- PAF Insight (performs advanced functions for LDS church members using Personal Ancestral File)
- PAF Companion 5.2 (generates reports for Personal Ancestral File)
Check out the January 2008 Family Tree Magazine, on newsstands Nov. 13, for our software panel test results of four popular programs.