2013 by Donald R. Snow

Sections of the Class Notes This page was last updated 2013-08-19.
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  1. Instructor is Donald R. Snow ( ) of Provo and St. George, Utah.
  2. These notes with the Internet links active are posted on .
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  4. The secret of doing family history and being a helpful FH Consultant is not knowing the answers, but knowing where to find the answers, and this presentation is about how to do that.


  6. Helps available include manuals and handbooks, articles, research publications, videos, interactive lessons, PowerPoint presentations, blogs, email lists, websites, notes, and more -- LDS Church has produced good training materials, but they are not well-known
  7. Two major sources that will be discussed below are FamilySearch  and
    1. On FamilySearch see Get Help (upper right-hand corner), Search > Wiki, and Search > Catalog
    2. On see Resources > Family History


  8. About FamilySearch, its goal, history, and services -- -- "About" link is at bottom of many FS pages
  9. Much of  is available to everyone without signing in
  10. In FamilySearch clicking on the FamilySearch logo (upper left) takes you back to the home page from any subpage.
  11. To access FamilySearch Family Tree, do FamilySearch Indexing, etc., you need an account -- To help with indexing, answer research questions, etc., click on Volunteer (upper right-hand corner) and register 
  12. Two types of accounts on FamilySearch
    1. LDS Account - requires your LDS membership number and birthdate; having an email address is recommended, but not required -- you select your account name and password; your log in information is checked against the Church records to verify that you are an LDS Church member 
    2. FamilySearch Account -- members and non-members can set up one of these, email address is recommended -- you select your account name and password; can be used to see and work on FamilySearch Family Tree, but does not show the LDS temple data
    3. With either type of account it sets up a Source Box for you in which to save links and sources -- get to your Source Box by hovering cursor over your log in name
  13. Search Historical Records - a major source of records of all kinds from all over the world; has billions of names in the databases; can search in various ways and can save info to "Your Source Box"; can link sources to your ancestors from Your Source Box; has many search techniques for the data and volunteers world-wide are indexing about 1 million records per day -- Search Historical Records is an entire class by itself and won't be discussed here -- more details are in other notes on Don's FH Notes webpage --
  14. FamilySearch Family Tree (FS FT) 
    1. FS FT program is still a "work in progress", but has many features available now, including adding sources and links, photos, and stories
    2. Original data was from "new FamilySearch" and much has been added later -- "new FamilySearch" is now closed and can be viewed, but not edited
    3. FS FT is only for deceased people due to privacy laws and goal is to have a single database that everyone works on to get it correct, post sources, documentation, photos, and stories
    4. Good place to store your sourced (proven) genealogy for deceased ancestors with the sources and documentation
    5. Will soon be able to post images of documents -- for now you can post the documents elsewhere and put a link to them in FS FT
    6. Recommended that you keep all your data and sources about the dead and the living in your own computer database in some genealogy management program, e.g. Ancestral Quest, Roots Magic, Legacy, etc.
    7. FamilySearch course on FS FT --
    8. Video lessons on FS FT --
  15. FamilySearch Catalog (FSC) -- used to be called the Family History Library Catalog (FHLC) -- go to Search > Catalog
    1. Lists all the resources, films, books, etc., in the Family History Library in Salt Lake City
    2. Now has over 100,000 genealogy books in pdf and you can read and download most at home
    3. Example -- -- Note that the catalog entry says in red: "To view a digital version click here" -- leads you to a pdf of the book that the Snow family gave the Family History Library permission to digitize and post online so anyone can read, search, and/or download it
    4. The books are also listed on Search > Books
  16. FamilySearch Labs -- -- new products for public to tryout and comment on including the England Jurisdiction Map of 1851 and Pedigree Viewer (Retired) which allows you to upload a large GEDCOM file and view the pedigree in various ways

  18. Help Center (upper right-hand corner) has lots of content and contact information for email or phone -- Product Support, Research Assistance, Getting Started, Learning Center, Research Wiki
  19. Each of these has subheads such as FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) of signing up for accounts, using FamilySearch, Getting Started, searching, using Family Tree, indexing, Learning Center Videos, uploading photos and stories to Family Tree, and more
  20. Research Wiki -- go to Search > Wiki - takes you to
    1. "wiki" means anyone can add to or edit it, but to change it you must be logged in with your account so it shows who made the change 
    2. Major source of FH research help, includes updated FH Library Research Outlines, guides, word lists
    3. Does not include genealogy data, only information about how to find it
    4. Example -- Search > Wiki > Canada > Ontario > Peel Region - takes you to,_Ontario
    5. Example -- Search > Wiki - type in Yellowknife -- shows 11 entries in Canada, Northwest Territories -
    6. Includes the old FH Library Favorites (websites) and lots more
    7. Good place to start when answering questions about FH, can say "Let's see what the Wiki says about that."
  21. Knowledge Base documents for help on FamilySearch --
  22. FamilySearch Blog -- -- good way to keep updated on what's new in FS; can get to it through the Blog link at the bottom of many FS pages
  23. FamilySearch What's New --
  24. Various newsletters you can sign up to receive on FamilySearch, FH in the Church, etc. -- go to Settings to subscribe  
  25. For anyone with an LDS Church FH calling go to > Resources > Family History - takes you to -- Note the instructions, videos, information, and Additional Resources (bottom left) for each consultant and leader calling and for temple work 
  26. FH Consultant Training -- -- Consultants should register here to receive information and so their name will be on the list of consultants for their area; has the FH Newsletters, FH Consultant Training, and 100s of FH courses in the FS Learning Center --
  27. Community discussion about FamilySearch -- -- can search for discussion of any topic here
  28. Online broadcast about Family History Centers -- -- These are being expanded in the LDS Church.
  29. The LDS Church's Internet Training for FamilySearch employees and others -- -- Requires sign in with an employee account


  31. Email lists for FH Consultants and others interested
    1. [FHCNET] -- To subscribe go to or send blank email to FHCNET-subscribe@yahoogroups
    2. [LDS-WC] -- To subscribe send the one-word message SUBSCRIBE to LDS-WARD-CONSULTANT-L-REQUEST@ROOTSWEB.COM
    3. [fhctech] -- To subscribe send note to
  32. Blogs about FamilySearch, Family Tree, and related topics
    1. Genealogy's Star Blog by James Tanner --
    2. Renee's Genealogy Blog by Renee Zamora --
    3. The Ancestry Insider Blog -- -- discusses FamilySearch and Ancestry
  33. FamilySearch's Facebook page --
  34. George W. Scott's 100-page manual "How to Use Family Tree Wisely" -- -- can download it in pdf for free
  35. Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group (UVTAGG) -- > Meetings > Class Outlines -- has many presentations, classes notes, and other helps   
  36. Brigham Young University resources 
    1. BYU Independent Study --
    2. Center for Family History and Genealogy at BYU --  
    3. Introduction to Family History --
  37. Ancestry's webpage -- -- Learning Center has many FH articles, links, and information for free
  38. RootsTech 2012 and 2013 videos -- -- many helpful videos 
  39. Cyndi Howell's list of LDS FH links --


  41. There is a wealth of information on the Internet for FH Consultants, LDS Church members, and leaders.  We hope these notes give you some places to start.
  42. Find more helps by Googling "familysearch information" or "familysearch helps" (without the quotes) or do a site search by searching Google for " helps" (without the quotes). 
  43. FH consultants don't have to know everything, but they need to know where to find the answers.

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