Discover Your Roots and Much More with FamilySearch

We are never too old to learn something new, and the Harris County Library Database has a wonderful list of sites with helpful tools to do just that. We can find information on many different subjects from auto repair to psychology, and language learning to keep us in the know and enrich our lives. But what could be more enriching than learning about our own family history? 

FamilySearch is a database where we can find a family history organization that provides free access to digitized records, genealogy research tools, family history books, and more. On the first page, it says, “Find your family, discover yourself,” and that is the experience it has been for me!

When I was growing up, my grandmother told me that we were related to both Edgar Cayce, the famous clairvoyant, and Stephen Foster, the songwriter of the 1800s. I was always fascinated by this, but there was no real proof to back up the claim. I had done some searching on in the past and searched other sites, but I never really found anything that confirmed her words.

Recently, I was searching the database tools and found FamilySearch. I created an account and got to looking around. What I loved was that it was so easy! It has helpful videos, suggestions, search tools, and Getting Started resources. As I was working on my family tree, I found that there were areas of the tree that were filled in already, and the more I branched out the closer I got to see the connection between me and these two famous ancestors.

My connection with Edgar Cayce came down to Shadrack Cayce I and Ann Flowers, my 5th great-grandparents. They had 12 children and one of the sons was my 4th great-grandfather, Shadrack Cayce Junior. The other son, William Cayce was Edgar’s great-grandfather. I was so excited to discover Edgar is my 3rd cousin three times removed on FamilySearch!  Needless to say, I am not psychic in any way.

My connection with Stephen Foster is with John Foster and Mary Fort. Mary Fort was my 7th great-grandmother, and she was Stephen’s 2nd great-grandmother. Stephen is my 3rd cousin 5 times removed, and I have FamilySearch to thank for finding that out! The cool thing is that we do have a bit in common. He was a song composer, and I write poetry.

FamilySearch also has some cool activities. You can get fun facts about your name and the year you were born, compare face images, and much more.

As you can see, FamilySearch has so much to offer past and present. I hope you take the time to explore it and see what you can find. Who knows, maybe you will discover some wonderful and fascinating information in the process.

Family Photo Detective

Design your Family Tree

Roots for Kids

The Kids' Family Tree Book

The Family Detective

Family History 101

The Family Tree Problem Solver

A Sourcebook for Genealogical Research

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Genealogy

Now for fun, here are some books on my ancestors:

Edgar Cayce

Edgar Cayce on Auras & Colors

The Life and Songs of Stephen Foster

Stephen Foster