I love them even more when they are well run and filled with great information.
Familysearch.org is among the very best.
What you need to know about this website:
- It is completely free.
- It is available for anyone to use.
- It has several key parts – Family Tree, Photos, Search, Wiki, Blog, and Catalog.
- It is constantly being updated and improved. New records are added every day.
- It is owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints but you don’t have to be a Mormon to use the website.
- In order to use certain parts of the website you will need to create a free account.
What you can do with Family Tree:
- Contribute to this unique Tree by adding and updating your ancestor’s information. This Tree is designed to have only ONE instance of every unique individual. This means that the goal is for there to only be ONE entry for my great grandpa Francis Henry Duval. If he is in the Tree more than once, I can merge those two entries to become one. In this way, everyone is working to create ONE very large Family Tree that includes every human for which there is a record. One of the very cool benefits of this is that you can collaborate with extended family members so that all of the pieces of information each of you has, can be put together in one place, creating a more complete picture. It also helps you make connections with extended family members and then share photos and stories.
- You can add photos and stories to each individual in the tree.
- You can attach records to each individual.
- You can search for records right from each person in the tree.
- You can generate a pedigree, individual page, and fan chart for each person in the tree.
What you can do with Photos:
- You can add photos.
- You can tag every person in a photo and link those tags to the tree.
- You can add stories to each person.
What you can do with Search:
- You can search for records on your ancestors.
- When you find a record about someone in your tree, you can attach that record as a source.
- There are many different search features which allow you to find even obscure or difficult to find records.
- Challenge: click here, search for a family member who was living in 1940. When you find the Census about that family member, be sure to view the actual image. Read each line. One question asks what education level each person has attained. Several of the questions are about employment. It even asks how many weeks the person worked in the last year and how much money they made.
What you can do with the Wiki:
- You can search for articles on various topics such as ‘Census Records’.
- You can contribute to the Wiki by writing an article on a topic you are an expert on.
- You can look up the Family History Center near you and see their hours, address, and phone number.
What you can do with the Blog:
- Keep yourself up to date with the latest changes and additions to familysearch.
What you can do with the Catalog:
- Search for record collections by location.
- Search for books by topic.
- Search for compiled books by surname.
- Anything you find in the catalog can be viewed at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City or ordered to a local Family History Center. Films and fiche ordered to large centers like BYU or LA are free to order and remain in the collection to be used by anyone. Ordering films and fiche to small centers usually requires a fee.