Get Involved Indexing

Join the Thomas Tolman Family Organization Indexing Group and help us index a million records.

William O. Tolman, Family Genealogist from 1959 to 1980, used to say, “The key to success is getting a lot of people to do a little.”

We are looking to mobilize between 300 and 500 cousins to help index those records that will help people find their ancestors. We recommend a commitment of 25 or more records per month. That’s a small time commitment that will add up from month to month. Join the group

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The small efforts of many add up over time!

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IND-A

Learn the story about Indexing Myra Tolman Patterson’s 200,000 Records

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Elmyra Tolman, a twin, was born on June 19, 1884. Her twin brother did not survive. She was more commonly known as Myra. She was the youngest daughter of Judson and Zibiah Jane Stoker Tolman. Myra said, “Before my father died he had my brother David R. Tolman promise to straighten out the Tolman Genealogical records which he had tried to carry on himself and at the time of his death was in a bad shape. My brother spent a sum of money to get them fixed, hiring two genealogists. They went as far as they could without the help of someone from the family.”

Picture: Family Picture with Aunt Myra on Judson’s lap

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Myra continued her account by saying, “I took the books in 1930 and have worked with them for twenty years. At that time, we had nine hundred names with the work of them partly done. Today [1951] we have over 70,000 names with work done and have gotten 200,000 names on other people’s lines. I have been sealed in the temple for 18,000 couples (as of 1951). What a glorious congregation to meet when we leave this life.” [Her service went beyond that biographical sketch and she worked with the books for twenty-nine years, until her death in 1959.]

Picture: Elmyra “Myra” Tolman Patterson, Tolman Family Genealogist, Historian, and Secretary from 6 July 1916 to 19 April 1959

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William Odell Tolman wrote in his journal, “The more I taught (genealogy extension classes for BYU), the more my testimony increased concerning this great program of the Church. During that period of time, often I would visit with Myra Tolman Patterson when I would drive from Provo to Salt Lake City. She was a great inspiration to me as she repeated faith-promoting experiences which she had in connection with this program. Early in January 1959, this great woman when to the LDS Hospital… She suffered great pain… and on 19 April 1959, she passed away.”
“With four other volunteers, I started meeting once every month, trying to decide what to do with Aunt Myra’s records. No one in the family organization knew what she had done or where she had been in her research. We had to evaluate these two problems before we could go ahead in this program. During the next three and a half years, we came up with several ideas. When we would get back, in the next meeting, we knew that our previous ideas were not the solution.”

Picture: William O. Tolman, Tolman Family Genealogist from 4 April 1959 to 26 September 1980

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IND-E

William O. Tolman continues, “Finally, we finalized the idea of indexing all of her records on a card similar to the Temple Record Index Bureau Card. As soon as the cards were printed, we called for the cousins to meet in a Family Work Day to index these many volumes and boxes of records. The first Saturday, we met at eight o’clock, and planned to meet until five. We only had myself and my wife and the five members of the genealogy committee present. The next month, the numbers doubled and the month after that they doubled again.  The family was becoming activated.”

Picture: A gathering of Tolman cousins at the Bountiful Seminary to work on records of Myra Tolman Patterson, who preceded William O. Tolman as family genealogist.

indexing-slide-4-tolman-family-workday-at-seminary

IND-EE

“As we went forward with this program, I told my cousins, if they would meet religiously, every month, that miracles would happen in our family genealogical program. The first miracle, I suppose, was our decision to index all of Aunt Myra’s records.” [Note for Loraine Tolman Pace: That may sound simple to the average person, but you had to have seen the boxes and books in the original condition to appreciate the enormity of the task that was ahead. Some sheets were filed in binders and others in files. There were many duplicates discovered. Near the end of Aunt Myra’s life she was well aware that she was repeating herself when she submitted names for ordinances because she had no system of keeping track, mostly because she was trying to do everything herself. She told Williams that she would get back sheets that were stamped “submitted last month” or “submitted last week.” Indexing became a critical issue.]

indexing-slide-5-bion-tolman-william-tolman-l-devon-mecham

IND-F

At the 1966 Family Reunion business meeting, William O. Tolman reported that the indexing of the records gathered by Aunt Myra was finished. This effort took over three years to index all of her records with the consistent help of many cousins who volunteered hundreds of hours of their time.

ablastpast2

IND-A

Learn the story about Indexing Myra Tolman Patterson’s 200,000 Records

indexing-slide-1-family-pic-with-aunt-myra-on-judsons-lap

IND-B

Elmyra Tolman, a twin, was born on June 19, 1884. Her twin brother did not survive. She was more commonly known as Myra. She was the youngest daughter of Judson and Zibiah Jane Stoker Tolman. Myra said, “Before my father died he had my brother David R. Tolman promise to straighten out the Tolman Genealogical records which he had tried to carry on himself and at the time of his death was in a bad shape. My brother spent a sum of money to get them fixed, hiring two genealogists. They went as far as they could without the help of someone from the family.”

Picture: Family Picture with Aunt Myra on Judson’s lap

indexing-slide-2-elmyra-tolman-patterson

IND-C

Myra continued her account by saying, “I took the books in 1930 and have worked with them for twenty years. At that time, we had nine hundred names with the work of them partly done. Today [1951] we have over 70,000 names with work done and have gotten 200,000 names on other people’s lines. I have been sealed in the temple for 18,000 couples (as of 1951). What a glorious congregation to meet when we leave this life.” [Her service went beyond that biographical sketch and she worked with the books for twenty-nine years, until her death in 1959.]

Picture: Elmyra “Myra” Tolman Patterson, Tolman Family Genealogist, Historian, and Secretary from 6 July 1916 to 19 April 1959

indexing-slide-3-william-odell-tolman

IND-D

William Odell Tolman wrote in his journal, “The more I taught (genealogy extension classes for BYU), the more my testimony increased concerning this great program of the Church. During that period of time, often I would visit with Myra Tolman Patterson when I would drive from Provo to Salt Lake City. She was a great inspiration to me as she repeated faith-promoting experiences which she had in connection with this program. Early in January 1959, this great woman when to the LDS Hospital… She suffered great pain… and on 19 April 1959, she passed away.”
“With four other volunteers, I started meeting once every month, trying to decide what to do with Aunt Myra’s records. No one in the family organization knew what she had done or where she had been in her research. We had to evaluate these two problems before we could go ahead in this program. During the next three and a half years, we came up with several ideas. When we would get back, in the next meeting, we knew that our previous ideas were not the solution.”

Picture: William O. Tolman, Tolman Family Genealogist from 4 April 1959 to 26 September 1980

indexing-slide-4-tolman-family-workday-at-seminary

IND-E

William O. Tolman continues, “Finally, we finalized the idea of indexing all of her records on a card similar to the Temple Record Index Bureau Card. As soon as the cards were printed, we called for the cousins to meet in a Family Work Day to index these many volumes and boxes of records. The first Saturday, we met at eight o’clock, and planned to meet until five. We only had myself and my wife and the five members of the genealogy committee present. The next month, the numbers doubled and the month after that they doubled again.  The family was becoming activated.”

Picture: A gathering of Tolman cousins at the Bountiful Seminary to work on records of Myra Tolman Patterson, who preceded William O. Tolman as family genealogist.

indexing-slide-4-tolman-family-workday-at-seminary

IND-EE

“As we went forward with this program, I told my cousins, if they would meet religiously, every month, that miracles would happen in our family genealogical program. The first miracle, I suppose, was our decision to index all of Aunt Myra’s records.” [Note for Loraine Tolman Pace: That may sound simple to the average person, but you had to have seen the boxes and books in the original condition to appreciate the enormity of the task that was ahead. Some sheets were filed in binders and others in files. There were many duplicates discovered. Near the end of Aunt Myra’s life she was well aware that she was repeating herself when she submitted names for ordinances because she had no system of keeping track, mostly because she was trying to do everything herself. She told Williams that she would get back sheets that were stamped “submitted last month” or “submitted last week.” Indexing became a critical issue.]

indexing-slide-5-bion-tolman-william-tolman-l-devon-mecham

IND-F

At the 1966 Family Reunion business meeting, William O. Tolman reported that the indexing of the records gathered by Aunt Myra was finished. This effort took over three years to index all of her records with the consistent help of many cousins who volunteered hundreds of hours of their time.

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