Search For Ancestors (all resource in one search, i.e. Ancestral File, Census, IGI, PRF, SSDI and VRI search)
Search the records
- Record Search Pilot (a part of Family Search Labs)
- While not officially part of FamilySearch.org, the website does link to data available through Brigham Young University, specifically the Family History Archives, which is under the Search Records Tab as the "Historical Books" option.
Search the Catalog to find what is available from the Family History Library. If an item has been filmed, it can be obtained on loan (a few exceptions may be noted on the records) through your nearest Family History Center.
- The Family History Center now offers a three part video lesson on how to find materials in their catalog. Each video is 10-15 minutes long. Also see an online. Remember: you can search the catalog a variety of ways....
- By location -- be sure to use the "View Related Places" link (upper right corner) to search all related jurisdictions.
- By surname -- to find family histories that cover a specific family. You aren't searching the whole book; only the description of the book as it appears in the catalog.
- By Keyword (if you have a common surname, this is much handier than the surname search because you can combine the name with a place or another surname, e.g. Smith Pennsylvania or Smith Jones )
- And if you know exactly what you want, use the title or author search.
- The film or fiche number search is handy if you want to see what the heck you ordered! Often more than one item is on a roll and you may have neglected to note which # is the one you want.
- The subject search is especially useful for finding titles that are not specific to a name or place, e.g. African Americans or Adoption.
- Forms -- offers some unique forms, as well as the more common ones.
- Genealogical Word Lists -- lists of common genealogical term in several languages
- Letter Writing Guides -- some genealogical form letters in a several languages.
- Maps -- of the U.S. and several countries. They print out somewhat better than they appear on screen, but you may have to spend some time playing with your printing "preferences" to get them to appear as you want on the page.
- Reference Documents (here is where you will find the "Historical Background" documents for each state and many countries. There are a few other reference documents that can be helpful too. Peruse the list to see what else might be of use to you.)
- Research Guidance... these are tricky. You really have to spend time with each one you use to see what might be helpful to you. Choose the locality you are researching. Some parts will be be only generic advice, others will have information that is location specific. Notice that when you select a record type and time span, you are then given 3 tabs to view separately byclicking the tab
1) Historical Background 2) For Beginners and 3) Search Strategy
- Research Outlines These are much more direct that Research Guidance. Many (but unfortunately not all) are available in .pdf format so can be printed a a booklet.
- Resource Guides -- Many (but not all) are available in .pdf format. They cover both subjects (e.g. African American Quick Guide) and some locations (e.g. Finding Your Ancestors in Finland Before 1900)
- Step by Step Guides (this is where you fill find the Statewide Indexes and Collections documents, as well as a variety of other useful guides. Again, peruse the list to see what might be useful to you. )
... The HELP tab (upper right corner of page) takes you to a very helpful page, but it comes up in a separate window, so I can't link to it.
Research Series: Classes Online As I write this there is a comprehensive series on England and a 1 hour class on Italy, but I hope more will be added. Check often.
Family Search Labs
Family Search Labs is a suite of new services;Click the link above to view a paragraph explanation for each of them. For running information on their development, follow the FamilySearch Labs blog. The componant parts of Family Search Labs are
- Record Search -- more and more data online-- indexed and browsable.
- Family Tree -- aka "New Family Search"; currently only available to members of the Church as it is being tested, it will eventually become one huge family tree.
- Standard Finder -- finds places, names dates under a variety of spellings; a handy utility
- Research Wiki -- an encyclopedia of information, being built over time. It is a Wiki, so anyone can contribute information. In fact, for it to become a robust source, people will need to be active contributers.
Family History Library Resources: these pages are nice summaries of resources available for specific purposes. At this point three are available; keep an eye on the home page to see if more are added.
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