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 May 2016
(11:20 am)
Getting the Most from the Search Function on FamilySearch Riverton Family History Saturday Seminar
25 Sep 2016
(6:00 pm)
How to Implement "Find, Take, Teach" Successfully BYU Family History Library
7 Dec 2016
(3:30 pm)
The Timeline Grid: An Easy Way to Track, Organize, and Use Your Research Webinar (click here to view logon instructions in a new window)
22 Jan 2017
(6:00 pm)
Energizing Family History with Find-Take-Teach BYU Family History Library
26 Feb 2017
(6:00 pm)
When Your Family History is "All Done": Temple Work through Descendancy Research BYU Family History Library
26 Mar 2017
(6:00 pm)
Hidden Clues on Person Records in Family Tree BYU Family History Library

Tutorials

Google Drive Icon

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.

Google Drive Icon

How to Find Your Helper Number
Finding your helper number is almost ridiculously 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.

Google Drive Icon

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.

Google Drive Icon

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.

Presentations

(listed in alphabetical order)

Google Drive Icon

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.

Google Drive Icon

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.

Google Drive Icon

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.

Google Drive Icon

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.

Google Drive Icon

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.

Google Drive Icon

Getting the Most from the Search Function on FamilySearch
The Search function on FamilySearch (not to be confused with the Find function in Family Tree) puts a vast array of family history resources at your fingertips, including digital records and books, microfilms, and wiki articles. Learn more about what’s available and discover tips for effective searches.

Google Drive Icon

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.

Google Drive Icon How to Implement Find–Take–Teach Successfully
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!
Google Drive Icon

"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.

Google Drive Icon

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.

Google Drive Icon

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.

Google Drive Icon

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.

Google Drive Icon

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. Also, see webinar on this topic below.

Google Drive Icon

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.

Google Drive Icon

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.

Past Webinars

networked world icon

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.

networked world icon

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.

networked world icon

Success Tips for Getting Started with Family History
Are you at the beginning of your family history adventure? This webinar covers some basic concepts to help you find success. It's geared toward LDS members who want to do temple ordinances.

networked world icon

Understanding the Data in FamilySearch Family Tree
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. See slide deck above for this presentation.

networked world icon

When Your Family History is "All Done": Temple Work Through Desendancy 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.

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)

Google Drive is a trademark of Google Inc. Use of this trademark is subject to Google Permissions.