Lets face it… there aren’t many sites that help you search for your ancestors for free. But, FamilySearch.org is the biggest one out there. Not only can you search for free, but you can access thousands of documents as well. When you go to the website, there are four main areas available for you to search:
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1. Records - You search the records section when you are looking for vital information about an individual. These records include birth, marriage, death, and census records. Helpful hint: Sometimes entering too much information hinders your results. So, try adding and deleting information to produce different results. Read this to get a better understanding of how to search.
2. Genealogies - It’s great to be able to search for family trees that have already been submitted to FamilySearch.org. You might find that some of the research has already been done for you. Helpful hint: Contribute your own family tree by uploading a GEDCOM file. This will help others searching the same lines to find information you’ve already done. Click here to find out what a GEDCOM file is.
3. Catalogs - Well into my family history searching I had never used the catalog, and I had no idea what it even was. Boy did I feel stupid when one day I just started poking around and started searching through it. You can look up a certain area and see all the records related to that specific area. Helpful hint: When searching enter the area this way… state, county, city. After each type of record that comes up there is a number in parenthesis (2). This is the number of that type of record. Then when you click on the record type it will open up a list for you to look through.
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4. Books - These are a little trickier and honestly I haven’t found the key to finding information in books yet. I have been to the LDS Family History Library in Salt Lake City, UT and looked through different books with little or no success. But, I’m not one to give up so easily. So I decided to do a search for the Evans family and this is what I found.
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Thomas Evans is one of my great grand uncles that came to America from Wales. I found his journal from a mission he had served for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The whole journal has been made available online for anyone to read. My faith in searching through books has definitely been renewed. Especially with a find like this.
If you have never been to FamilySearch.org before…now is the time. There are doors that are waiting for you to unlock by using this valuable resource.
What kind of success have you had with FamilySearch.org?