Saturday, August 29, 2015

Check Out FamilySearch and The Family History Center




I am very fortunate to have a Family History Center in the town where I live.
I have visited several times and found that the volunteers are helpful and knowledgeable, but I really didn't do research there until this summer.
I have always used on line search sites for genealogical research, and found them to be very useful but now I have run into several roadblocks in my search  and the commercial sites are not giving me any new information.  I decided to take the plunge and try the Family History Center to find the information I was seeking.
The Family History Centers are a part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints,  also known as LDS or the Mormon Church.  The centers are open to anybody who wants to use their resources for genealogy.  There is no charge to use the materials in the Family History Center and no one will ask you anything about religion.   You do not have to be a member of the LDS church to use the materials and get help on your research. The LDS Church,  has the large repository of genealogical materials in the main library in Salt Lake City, Utah, so it was the logical place to start.


The Family Search Web Site

The Family History Search is an excellent web site which is also free.  It is a good place to start family research, and to start a family tree.  The family tree is easy to use and will give hints to help you build your tree. It is as good and easy to use as any of the commercial genealogy or family tree sites.
The site has a search option which gives access to the materials in the LDS Library in Salt Lake City.  When you click on the search option, there are four choices:

Records: 

Enter the name of a deceased ancestor and get information from records such as census forms, death records etc.  There are Tips on searching records in this section. I entered my great grandfather's name and within minutes, I had a list of information about him. You can also search by place by clicking on a map of the world.  You will find a list of information about that particular area.

Catalog: 

Search here to find information in the vast collection of the LDS library.  When you find what you want, you can order the material and it will be delivered to a local Family History center within a few weeks. You can search by place or name.  You will get a list of resources that are available.  You can order the resource and it will be shipped to the nearest Family History Center.  The resources are available for your use for several months.

Wiki:  

This is Great!  A good place to start if you are new to genealogy.  There is information on how to start the genealogy the research process. I decided to search by place and typed in "Galicia Ukraine", and got 54 results, included gazetteers, articles, and data bases.  I have not used this feature until today, but I have already printed an article about house numbers in Galician Records, which explains how every house in every town and village was numbered.


The Family History Center 

Every  LDS Church includes a Family History Center.  The centers are staffed by knowledgeable volunteers who are willing to help beginners and experienced researchers.  There are books, microfilms,  computers and microfilm and film readers in the centers.  The centers also have forms which help researchers to organize their information.  The Family History Centers are easy to locate on the FamilySearch.org web site.  This is the place where films and microfiche are sent, and the viewers to read them. Check on line for the location and hours for the Family History Center closest to you.
Volunteers catalog genealogy records.