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For any genealogist in the US (and perhaps near US military bases overseas,
such as Frankfurt, Germany and Tokyo, Japan) who lives near an LDS family
history center, there is awaiting you at that FHC a helping hand called the
Accelerated Indexing System on hundreds of microfiche.
This index is NOT great for helping you find colonial persons, unless AIS
(the firm that compiled this index) combed the early tax lists, which it did
in some cases, to make up for destroyed 1790 census. (As you have time, take
a look at some of the fiche for Search 1.)
AIS is composed of a number of Searches, one for each census year, and later
it is broken down in sections of the country as the census got bigger. There
should be a four-page free handout at your LDS center explaining how to use
this index, which many professionals use in trying to get a sense of where a
particular family may have lived in a particular census year. It is great
for tracing migrations, providing the name is not too common. (It's not
great for tracking down my husband's ancestor William Wallace, who migrated
from Massachusetts to California--too many of them!)
This index, for the most part, only goes through the 1850 census, although
for the Western territories there are later censuses. Some of the later
searches are mortality schedules. Take a look at one or two fiche for the
mortality schedules. You might get quite interested.
One researcher asked about some names in West Feliciana Parish. Using
the guide which should be at the LDS center, he should search for the Search
(that is what each section of the AIS is called, to correspond with that
census year) for 1850 and then work backwards to the earlier censuses.
Then move backwards to the Search for the 1840 census. Keep in mind that
this index encompasses the whole US census through 1850 and therefore, if
fortunate, you MAY be able to trace the migrations of your families from
state to state.
Another thing to keep in mind--I am told on good authoritity that the workers
who compiled this index were not the most skilled (nor well paid), and
therefore, there are many errors, duplications, omissions, etc. (But that
occurs in the filmed census also--not all the pages were filmed, for
instance, some of us genealogists are finding.)
Now, your job will be to find a nearby LDS center, find out the hours and
days it is open, and ask, always ask, whether they have the AIS (Accelerated
Indexing System) on microfiche. Be aware that most centers are staffed by
volunteers, who work only a few hours a week and are not always aware of all
the resources in the center. If you do not get a positive answer, ask this
question: What kind of records do you have on microfiche? Do you have a
collection of hundreds of microfiche called AIS?
I was told by the director of a small LDS center that ALL Fam Hist centers
are furnished with this index (AIS) when they are set up. So be
persistent--but polite. Remember, these centers are used greatly by non-LDS
members. No fees, other than for loans of films and copies made on site, are
required. While there, ask about research guides which may be for
sale--about $1.00 each now. (Used to be cheaper)
To find a list of centers around the world, go to the LDS website:
The link to the list of centers is on the lower right.
While in that vicinity, also check the Family History Library Catalog. You
will be given choices of searches. Just for the fun of it, type in some of
your surnames. You may find a film or two pertaining to the one of your
I am looking for the names of DUPUY, REMONDET,and LOIS NORRA can anyone
help me ? Ninette
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, December 15, 2001 6:00 AM
Subject: LAWESTFE-D Digest V01 #49