©2016 by Donald R. Snow

Sections of the Class Notes This page was last updated 2016-01-17.
Return to the  Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group Home Page  or  Don's Class Listings Page .


  1. Instructor is Donald R. Snow ( ) of Provo and St. George, Utah.
  2. These Class Notes and the Supplementary Notes are posted on  with all the links, so you don't have to type them in yourself.
  3. Tips:  (1)  To put an icon on your desktop for these notes, or any webpage, just drag the icon from in front of the address in your browser onto your desktop.  (2)  To open a link, but keep your place in these notes, hold down the Control key while clicking the link.
  4. Definition of cousins: descendants of the same person, so your cousins are descendants of any of your ancestors (except your own parent, since then you are siblings)
  5. Today's class will discuss finding your cousins and why you would want to 

  7. Relationship between cousins -- go back to their common ancestor and count down the number of generations to each; the smaller number minus one is the cousin level and the difference of generations down is the removeds; that is, if the smaller number is two (common ancestor is the grandparent of one or both), they are first cousins, if smaller number is three (common ancestor is great-grandparent of one or both), they are second cousins; if one line has an extra generation down, so they are one generation apart, they are once removed; if two extra generations down on one line, they are twice removed; Example: 3 generations back to common ancestor on one line and 4 generations back on the other means second cousins once removed, sometimes abbreviated 2C1R.
  8.               .
                /   \
              S     S
             /         \
          1C         1C
          /                \
       2C                2C
  9. Several reasons for doing descendancy research, e.g. helps you understand your ancestry; helps make the FamilySearch Family Tree database complete and accurate; may provide clues to extend your pedigree; will probably show people needing temple work
  10. Keep track of what you find WITH THE SOURCES in your own genealogy records management program (Ancestral Quest, PAF, RootsMagic, etc.) and in FamilySearch Family Tree (FS FT) 

  12. Helps on FamilySearch
    1. 5-min video on Temple Names Submission --
    2. 4-min video on Descendancy View and finding cousins in FS FT --
    3. Article --
    4. Help Center -- (scroll down to see the search box and enter "find cousins" or something similar)
    5. Research Wiki on FamilySearch -- type in things like "descendancy research"
  13. The Family History Guide -- -- Very helpful website for learning FH; completely free; several articles on descendancy and temple work --
  14. Descendants View on FamilySearch Family Tree 
    1. Click on Descendancy at top left corner; default is 2 generations down, but can set it for 3 or 4 down
    2. Can set it to show portraits and various icons by clicking on Show (top right); you see more info without the portraits
    3. Various ways to copy the entire scrolling descendancy screen
  15. Programs to help with descendancy research
    1. Relative-Finder -- -- by BYU Computer Science Dept; uses your FamilySearch information to show how you are related to famous people including LDS Church leaders, US presidents, kings and queens, and others; can also set up a group, e.g. your ward, for people to join to show how they are related to each other; very helpful to get people interested in family history; Relative-Finder now has a Virtual Pedigree chart with descendants view and clues to "Low Hanging Fruit" to work on
    2. Puzzilla -- -- commercial program, but free at FHCs, and has free parts available with LDS accounts -- it starts with you and shows a diagram of your ancestors with colored and shape coded icons; clicking on one allows generating a descendants chart of that person with color and shape coded icons so you can see where possible further work, temple and research, need to be done 
    3. All My Cousins -- -- free program that uses your FS FT data to find and download your cousins -- gives lists of people in various relationships to you, e.g. 1C3R -- see more info at  by James Tanner
    4. Find-A-Record -- --has a descendants mode and gives clues of data needed
    5. Hope Chest (used to be called Pandora's Hope Chest) -- -- Chrome browser add-on to look for "green temples or arrows" -- FamilySearch says it's not for novices, since it leads to lots of temple duplication --'s_Hope_Chest
  16. Record searches that may help with descendancy research
    1. Many good records are available in the U.S. during the 1800-1900s to help with descendancy research; hints on FamilySearch, Ancestry, MyHeritage, and other places are very helpful
    2. GenSmarts -- -- helpful to analyze your genealogy data offline, e.g. through a database or GEDCOM, and finds "holes" where data is missing and gives ideas of databases to check based on localities and dates; does not edit your data; commercial, but inexpensive with free trial period giving slightly limited results, so you can see how it works
    3. Census records help put families together:  available on FamilySearch , on Ancestry, and on Heritage Quest Online at home with your public library card
    4. Death and cemetery records:  Social Security Death Index -- ; FindAGrave -- ; BillionGraves -- ; obituaries on FamilySearch and elsewhere
    5. Surname search on FamilySearch Catalog on
  17. Can print temple ordinance cards at home now in some temple districts (includes St. George now)

  19. Descendancy research helps fill in FamilySearch Family Tree and may provide clues for extending your pedigree and for temple work.
  20. The  Descendancy Supplementary Notes  on Don's webpage have more information and additional sections of material.
  21. Many programs and resources are now available to help you find your cousins, descendants of your ancestors.

Return to the Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Users Group Home Page or Don's Class Listings Page .