Friday, May 15, 2015

Getting Started ... with The Family History Guide

Have you ever asked yourself, "How do I get started with family history?" Or, "I have a few free minutes - what can I do?" The Family History Guide points you in the right direction, a step at a time, for success.

Note: The Family History Guide is in now in beta testing, with an official release projected for July 1, 2015.

The Family History Guide ( is a free site for LDS and non-LDS users. Its purpose is to help beginners get started with family history in a clear, purposeful way, and to help more experienced users find the resources they need, quicker and easier.
Let's take a tour of the site and see what's it's about ...

Get Started

The Get Started screen has four basic activities:

• Learn about The Family History Guide.
• Learn basic computer skills.
• Try a Top 10 Family History Task.
• Begin a Project.

Learn more ... This explains how the site works and how to use it effectively.

Computer basics ... If you are new to computers, this section helps you with windows, files, the mouse, etc., to get you off to a good start.

Top 10 Tasks ... If you are more experienced with family history, you can dive right in and begin with an essential activity.

Projects ... This is where you will spend most of your time with The Family History Guide. The 6 Projects include Goals, Choices, and Instructions, to divide your family history tasks into manageable pieces.

Project Menu

Project 1: Family Tree 

This project has 12 Goals, such as navigating FamilySearch Family Tree, using fan chart
and descendancy views, updating and adding ancestors, and merging duplicate ancestors.

Project 2: Memories

This project has 11 Goals, such as gathering and uploading photos and stories, interviewing relatives, and writing stories and life sketches.

Project 3: Descendancy/Ordinances

This project is split into two parts: Descendancy, for non-LDS users (3 Goals), and Ordinances (8 Goals), which explains how to prepare temple names. (The Ordinances part also includes the 3 Descendancy Goals.)

Project 4: Discover

This project helps you get started with your research. Click Discover in the main menu (6 Goals) to learn about ways to find new ancestors, or select a country from the drop-down menu to research that area.

Project 5: Indexing

This project has 7 Goals, helping you get started with indexing batches of records to help family history researchers around the world.

Project 6: Help with Family History

This project enables you to get help for your own family history, or join in helping others with theirs.

Goals, Choices, and Instructions

Each Goal in a Project is divided into several Choices (family history activities). You can click a Goal to show its Choices and related Instructions. For example, clicking this Goal in Project 2: Memories …

… will open up Choices A, B, and C (only A shown):

The Instructions for each Choice guide you along in your family history work.


In the Choices example above, notice the video icon. You can click the icon and launch a video clip that gives you additional instruction. You can also click document icons wherever they appear to display helpful articles online.
There are hundreds of videos and articles for use in the Family History Guide, all just a click away.

Project Trackers

To help you keep track of your progress with the Goals and Choices, you can download a Project Tracker sheet for each Project, as well as for each country where you are doing research. The Project Tracker lists each Goal and Choice, with space to type notes and update your progress status for each item. The file can be edited on a PC or Mac, so you can add rows as needed as your note content grows.


Besides the video and document links in the Projects, there are many other such links stored in “The Vault,” which is a large catalog of handy online resources. This catalog will expand over time as new family history videos and articles become available on the Web.


To keep you fresh and motivated on your family history journey, there is an Inspiration page available from Project 4: Ordinances. It has many links to LDS videos, articles, and quotes about family history and temple work for your enjoyment.

Try The Family History Guide and see how easy it can be to get started – and keep going – with your family history activities.

Note: The Family History Guide is not sponsored or endorsed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

1 comment:

  1. This looks promising, I look forward to more posts. Thank You for this.