Family History Learning Resources


Welcome! This site provides learning resources for FamilySearch Family Tree and other family history topics. Materials have been created to address specific needs, so topics are varied. More will be added as the need arises. Note: the tutorials and presentations below are best viewed in Chrome or Firefox. (Firefox sometimes displays an error message, but refreshing the page usually solves the problem.)

The materials on this page are licensed under a Creative Commons Attributions license. You are free to share, use, and alter them, but not to charge others for them.

Hello, and thanks for visiting. My name is Kathryn, and I'm a family history enthusiast, researcher, and teacher. Over time as I've developed presentations and tutorials, people have requested copies. This web site puts all these materials in one place for easy access. These materials are not connected with or endorsed by FamilySearch or the LDS Church. I take full responsibility for any errors and would appreciate feedback on any you find.

Upcoming Classes

Date & Time Title Location
21 Jan 2017
(9:00 am)
What I Wish I’d Known When I Started Doing Family History Vineyard and Lakeview Stakes, Orem, Utah
12 Nov 2017
(6:00 pm)
Answers Hiding in Plain Sight: Using What You Know to Discover What You Don't Know BYU Family History Library
28 Nov 2017
(5:30 pm)
Getting Started with Web Indexing BYU Family History Library Webinar
1 Dec 2017
(4:30 pm)
Checking the Person Page for Accuracy in FamilySearch Family Tree BYU Family History Library Webinar
5 Dec 2017
(5:30 pm)
Giving the Gift of Family History BYU Family History Library Webinar
20 Jan 2018
(10:10 am)
Duplicates in Family Tree Part 1: Why They're There and How to Find Them Riverton Office Building (Saturday Seminar)
20 Jan 2018
(11:20 am)
Duplicates in Family Tree Part 2: How to Resolve them Riverton Office Building (Saturday Seminar)
28 Jan 2018
(6:00 pm)
Checking the Person Page for Accuracy in FamilySearch Family Tree BYU Family History Library
25 Feb 2018
(6:00 pm)
Family Tree Reason Statements Made Easy BYU Family History Library
25 Mar 2018
(6:00 pm)
Fast, Easy, and Fun: Give Indexing a Boost with Zoning BYU Family History Library

Tutorials

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Finding Hidden Children from Extracted Records in Family Tree
Did you know that some Family Tree records from extracted christenings have been marked living so that they are not visible? This tutorial explains how to identify these children so you can have their records made visible.

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How to Find Your Helper Number
Finding your helper number is pretty easy—unless you can't find it :) If you're a ward consultant, you can give this link to members if they need to locate their helper number to give to you.

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Sample Reason Statements
Are you puzzled about what to put in the various reason fields in Family Tree? Do you leave reasons off because they're so tedious? This document provides some sample reason statements you can copy and edit to provide helpful information for other reserachers.

See "Family Tree Reason Statements Made Easy" below for a webinar and slide deck with more information, including instructions for using the SimpleFill browser add-on for entering reason statements.

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Understanding the Data in Family Tree (Short version; full version below in Presentations section.)
FamilySearch Family Tree contains information for over a billion people. But where did the information come from? The answer may surprise you. An accurate understanding of the information in Family Tree helps prevent errors and duplicate ordinances.

 

FamilySearch Blog Posts

Learning to Hear the Spirit Through Family History (20 December 2016)

Listening to the Spirit to Find a Starting Place (2 March 2017)

The Power of Family History in Missionary Work (3 August 2017)

Safely Gathered In: The First Four Generations (7 August 2017)

Technology: A Heart-Turning Tool (12 September 2017)


Presentations

(listed in alphabetical order)

Answers Hiding in Plain Sight: Using What You Know to Discover What You Don't Know

Ever feel like you're looking into a genealogical dark tunnel, with no idea where to go next? Turn on the light by using what you already know to discover what you don't know. We'll see examples of how this simple but sometimes overlooked principle can help solve puzzles and extend your family lines.
network iconWebinar    Google Drive Icon Slide Deck


Deep Dive: FamilySearch.org

This presentation takes a detailed look at the FamilySearch.org web site, including the personalized home page, the five major sections of the website, and other options such as Messaging and Help.

network iconWebinar    Google Drive Icon Slide Deck


Deep Dive: Tree Views in Family Tree

This presentation takes a comprehensive look at the four tree views in Family Tree: landscape, portrait, fan chart, and descendancy.

network iconWebinar    Google Drive Icon Slide Deck


Deep Dive: The Family Tree Person Page

This presentation takes a thorough look at the Person page in Family Tree.

network iconWebinar    Google Drive Icon Slide Deck


Duplicates in Family Tree: Why They're There, How to Find Them, and How to Resolve Them

Family Tree contains many duplicate records, but finding and resolving them correctly is not as simple as it may sound. This presentation explains how to find obvious and less obvious duplicates. You'll also learn best practices for merging duplicates so that information and relationships are not lost.

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English Research: Finding a Woman's Maiden Name Using the GRO Site

This presentation provides tips for finding a woman's maiden name on the General Register Office (GRO) site from July 1837 onward.

network iconWebinar    Google Drive Icon Slide Deck


English Research: Finding Missing Children Using the GRO Site

This presentation explains how to use the General Register Office (GRO) site to find children who died between censuses in England from July 1837 onward.

network iconWebinar    Google Drive Icon Slide Deck


Family Tree Q & A

This webinar addresses participant questions about FamilySearch Family Tree.

network iconWebinar (24 Feb 2017)


Family Tree Reason Statements Made Easy

This presentation offers guidance for writing reason statements in Family Tree, including examples. Also included is information about a form-filler, SimpleFill, that can make adding reason statements easier.

network iconWebinar    Google Drive Icon Slide Deck


Fast, Easy, and Fun: Give Indexing a Boost with Zoning

You're probably familiar with indexing—transcribing data from historical records to make them searchable. But have you heard about zoning? It’s the simple, fun process of drawing "zones" on digital newspaper images for later indexing by FamilySearch. Learn how to get started with this valuable and interesting activity!

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Finding and Adding Sources to Records in Family Tree

It's easier than ever to attach sources to people in Family Tree. This presentation explains how.

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Fun Tips

This presentation has miscellaneous tips for FamilySearch and Family Tree. It was originally included as part of this webinar.

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Getting Better Search Results with Wildcards

This presentation gives a basic introduction to using wildcards when searching historical records.

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Getting Relationships Right in Family Tree

How do you create correct relationships in Family Tree? How do you fix them if they're wrong? View this presentation for answers and examples.

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Getting Started with English Research

England—the land of Shakespeare, Buckingham Palace, and double-decker busses. Maybe it’s the land of your ancestors too! This presentation touches briefly on English history and culture, but its main focus is on the most useful records and how to search them. It also gives an example of tracing ancestors who emigrated from England.

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Getting Started with FamilySearch Web Indexing

Learn about FamilySearch's new web indexing program, the guided tour, and how to index your first batch. Discover the many help resources that are available for indexing in English and other languages.

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Getting the Most from FamilySearch Family Tree—Minimum Stress, Maximum Progress

This presentation covers basic concepts of success for using FamilySearch Family Tree. The live class allows students to ask questions and see answers demonstrated. Some of the most common questions have been added to this presentation, and others may be added in the future.

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Getting the Most from Record Hints on Family Tree

This presentation covers record hints in Family Tree: where you can see them, how accurate they are, how to evaluate them, and how to attach or dismiss them. You'll also learn how they can help you find people to add to Family Tree.

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Getting the Most from the Search Function on FamilySearch

The Search function on FamilySearch puts a vast array of family history resources at your fingertips, including historical records, books, microfilms, wiki articles, and more. Discover what's available and learn tips for effective searches.

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Hidden Clues on Person Records in Family Tree

Have you ever looked at a person record in Family Tree and wondered where the information came? How reliable it is? Why some vital information and relationships are included, but others aren't? How to see a history of changes to the person record? This presentation answers these questions and more.

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Energizing Family History with Find–Take–Teach

Find–Take–Teach has the potential to revolutionize family history in our families and local congregations. It's a powerful tool to help those new to family history find success. Learn how you can be a part of it!

network iconWebinar    Google Drive IconSlide Deck


"My Tree" and "The Magic Well": How Mental Models Influence Use of FamilySearch Family Tree

Mental models—the ideas in our mind about how things work—often don't match reality. Still, we want them to be as close as possible. Originally given at an employee conference, this presentation explores two common but inaccurate mental models of FamilySearch Family Tree. It compares them with how Family Tree actually works, and suggests ways to correct inaccurate mental models.

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Mysteries of the Change Log Revealed: What's Behind Show All Changes on the Person Page in Family Tree

What is the change log and what benefits does it provide? Learn how to make sense of change log entries, restore deleted persons, send messages to contributors, and more.

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Sources Made Simple: Adding Sources to People in Family Tree

Adding sources to people in Family Tree has never been easier. This presentation shows how to find FamilySearch historical records and attach them to people in Family Tree. It also explains how to attach other types of sources, both digital and non-digital.

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Success Tips for Getting Started with Family History

Are you at the beginning of your family history adventure? This presentation covers some basic concepts to help you find success. It's geared toward LDS members who want to do temple ordinances.

network iconWebinar    Google Drive Icon Slide Deck (webinar version)    Google Drive Icon Slide Deck (Discovery Day version)


The FamilySearch Consultant Planner: For Find-Take-Teach and Beyond

The Consultant Planner is a tool that helps temple and family history consultants help others. This presentation covers the features and functions that make this tool so effective.

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The Holy Ghost: The Best Family History Helper

Family history is a spiritual work, so it's not surprising that the Spirit plays a key role. This presentation talks about how the Holy Ghost helps us in family history and provides examples. It also discusses the Spirit and technology, and how we can grow in our ability to hear the Spirit's voice.

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The Teach Part of Find–Take–Teach: Teaching Others Effectively About Family History

Wondering how you can be more effective when you're the helper in a Find–Take–Teach experience? This presentation provides ideas and examples.

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The Timeline Grid: An Easy Way to Track, Organize, and Use Your Research

The timeline grid is a simple, unique research log that helps you track and use the information you find. You create it using a word processor or spreadsheet program. It's simple enough for beginners, but powerful enough for advanced users. More information is available here.

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Understanding the Data in FamilySearch Family Tree (Full Version)

FamilySearch Family Tree contains information for over a billion people. But where did the information come from? The answer may surprise you. An accurate understanding of the information in Family Tree helps prevent errors and duplicate ordinances.

network iconWebinar    Google Drive Icon Slide Deck


What Every Family Tree User Should Know About Name-Finding Apps

It sounds so good: run an app and find dozens or even hundres of temple names. But as with most things that sound too good to be true, name-finding apps come with significant downsides for you and others. This presentation illustrates how to find names without a name-finding app and provides cautions if you choose to use one.

Special thanks to my sister, Suzanne, for providing subtitles for the webinar!

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What I Wish I'd Known When I Started Doing Family History

When you start doing anything worthwhile there’s usually a learning curve, and that’s true of family history. This presentation suggests ways to shorten the curve and prevent errors as you start working on your family history.

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When Your Family History is "All Done": Temple Work Through Descendancy Research

At a loss for finding names for temple work because your family history is "all done"? Learn how to reap a rich harvest through descendancy research. You will learn a reliable process, along with tips and tricks to help you proceed effectively and avoid common pitfalls.

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Other

Nauvoo Times Articles on Family History (see March 4, 2015 – Jan 31, 2016; also Decemeber 10, 2014 and July 25, 2012)
"Truth From Elijah" (Primary Song) with additional verses
Children's Pedigree Chart (with circles in which children can draw pictures of their family members)

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