Connect While Social Distancing: Join the FamilySearch Live Community

May 19, 2020  - by 

“We wish you peace and joy as you connect with those closest to you. We remain committed to helping you discover your story.” —Steve Rockwood, FamilySearch CEO

We at FamilySearch are excited to share an upcoming new live social media series. This series will be an opportunity for the family history community to connect virtually and interact while many are practicing social distancing, quarantining, or even self-isolating.

Event Schedule

Instagram live events are scheduled for each Tuesday and Thursday at 11:00 a.m. mountain time. A Facebook live event will happen each Wednesday at the 4:00 p.m. (also mountain time) while we endure the social limitations relating to COVID-19.

You can learn more about the week’s topics and guests below.

FamilySearch Instagram Live

When: Tuesday, May 26, at 11 a.m. (mountain time)

Topic: Saving Family Photos by Sharing Them

Who: Rachel LaCour Niesen

FamilySearch Facebook Live

When: Wednesday, May 27, at 4 p.m. (mountain time)

Topic: Preserving the World’s Records

Who: Stephen Valentine

FamilySearch Facebook Live—Spanish

When: Thursday, May 28, at 4 p.m. (mountain time)

Topic: Spanish Research Help

Who: Debbie Gurtler

Past Live Events

If you haven’t had a chance to watch past live events but want to, check out our YouTube playlist featuring some of the social lives. You can also watch a couple of the past live events below!

Why a Social Media Series?

“Our stories matter. They are one of the richest parts of family history. Sharing these stories can provide comfort to us and to future generations as they face their own struggles.” —Steve Rockwood

Family history is for everyone, every day. It is just as important for us to take part fully in recording our stories as it is to discover those people who came before us. This evolving series is meant to help you do both of those things.

What Will the Series Include?

Girl on phone on couch

The series will include questions and answers, beginner how-tos, record helps, FamilySearch and Family Tree app tips, family stories, and more! We hope that in creating this series, we will be able to help you find quick ways to stay involved with family history without adding any burden.

We want to point out ways that you are already succeeding and give a few tips along the way that can help you make the most of this unprecedented time. We hope to help you find new ways to record YOUR story, find inspiring stories of others in your family tree, and share inspiring and encouraging messages along the way.

How Can I Participate?

Man on phone on couch

Follow us on Instagram @FamilySearch and on Facebook ( to receive notifications and reminders. Share your thoughts and experience with the series by using the hashtag #FamilySearchLive when you post!

Also, be sure to let us know in the comments how we can help you during this time. We would especially like to hear your responses to these sorts of questions: 

●      We are here to support you. What questions do you have for us?

●      How can we help you while you are home?

●      What would you like to learn during this unprecedented time?

●      What questions do you have about the Family Tree or Memories apps?

How to View an Instagram Live

To view the Instagram Live, follow these steps.

On mobile: 

  1. Open the Instagram app and go to the FamilySearch page. You can find the FamilySearch page by clicking on the magnifying glass icon (bottom-left corner) and typing “FamilySearch” into the search bar that appears.
  2. Once at the FamilySearch page, click on the FamilySearch profile picture in the top-left corner to view current or past Instagram Lives for up to 24 hours after the stream. (If given the option to view the story or live, select live.)
  3. Alternatively, you can view current or past Instagram Lives by tapping on the IGTV icon (a square TV with a squiggle through the center), which you can find below the profile description and above the Instagram feed.
Instagram search screenshot
instagram search bar screenshot
instagram live screenshot
instagram tv screenshot

On Desktop:

(Note: You can only view live Instagram streams on the mobile app, but the recordings will be uploaded and available via desktop. To access them, follow the instructions below.)

  1. Go to and then use the search-bar at the top of the screen to go to the FamilySearch page.
  2. Similar to mobile, either click on the profile picture or select the IGTV icon to watch past Instagram Lives.

How to View a Facebook Live

There are a few different ways to access a Facebook Live event.

The easiest way is to go to From there, you can view all previous FamilySearch Live events, including any that are currently live.

If you’re following the FamilySearch page on Facebook, you can also access live events your Facebook timeline. Live videos often show up as one of the posts on the timeline. Facebook may also send you a notification reminder when FamilySearch goes live. You can view the video by clicking on that notification. 

You can also navigate to the live video by clicking the Watch section on the left hand side of the FamilySearch Facebook page‘s screen, and then selecting Live.

We hope to grow along with you in innovative ways as we discover, gather, and connect wherever we may be. We are grateful for the technology we have that makes such discoveries and connections possible in almost every circumstance. 

Don’t forget to share your experience with the live streams in the comments below!

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  1. I just saw this. I don’t know how I missed this great opportunity. I am going to try to join in this afternoon.

  2. I have been doing some Danish research while here at our home in Arizona. Most of the time I can read enough of the language to get by but sometimes I come to an entry where it would be nice to have a Danish reader translate it for me in its entirety–so I’ll have all of the information to work with. Is there anyone doing such a thing?

    1. Is my sealing line not considered my family? I was sealed to my deceased mother and step-father (my non-member mother repeatedly stated that if I sealed her to my Father she would rise up out of her grave and haunt me!). I asked FS to have the “shared with the temple” name of one of my step-father’s ancestors released to me, and was told that I was not a relative. Am I related to my sealing line?

    2. Ther is a Facebook group called Genealogical Translations. They will translate genealogical documents FREE. Just sign up, and if you are fairly fluent in a language, offer to help translate.

  3. In need of a beginner course. I inherited a bunch of my family’s history from our family historian. He traveled all over (Salt Lake City, Sonora Mexico, Juarez Mexico, etc.) gathering records of all kinds which went back to my maternal great great great great grandparents 1830. Back in 2002 he sent me a GEDCOM CD with all the information he’d gathered, a list of 800 and some of my families names on what appeared to be an Excel spreadsheet, PAF 5.2 software and written instructions on how to load everything onto my computer, which I never got around to doing. In 2014 he passed away & left me 4 huge binders filled with all his. Recently I was ready to start working on it, but didn’t know where to start. I contacted LDL & learned that the PAF software is no longer used. Then put in touch with a very nice local member who walked me through the process of copying the information from my GEDCOM file into Family Tree information. Once uploaded, I followed the instructions on comparing my file. Reviewed Potential Matches (because our family historian was so meticulous & detailed with everything he did, I said YES to all potential matches. Next I reviewed Add to Family Tree list & basically did the same thing. But still don’t know what I’m doing? I can’t tell what exactly was transferred from the CD to Family Search. I don’t know if everything in the binders (pictures, birth certificates, census records, immigration records, marriage certificates, baptismal certificates, death certificates, etc) transferred over? Or if I have to scan everything myself & upload to Family Search. I don’t understand the connection between Family Search & Basically, I’m lost.

    1. To Sylvia Paramo:

      Wonderful! Thank goodness you preserved all that your family historian created. Since we have no way of knowing exactly what method you used to bring the information from your GEDCOM file(s) to FamilySearch, there’s no way to absolutely answer each of your questions here. However, if the people are now in FamilySearch, one of the first things you can do is a search, by name, for some of them as a sample. You will see on each “Person Page” a list of “changes” over on the right side as you scroll down. Click that, and if it is indeed the same person you put there, you should see your name associated with some action associated with that person.

      Next, once you’ve verified that the person is one that you entered into FamilySearch from your GEDCOM files, you can then switch to that person’s “Memories” page (a visible link is there for each “Person Page” so you can see what photos, documents, etc., are actually included. I’ve personally not looked at GEDCOM for many years, but I believe that those items (photos, certificates, etc.) do NOT come over to FamilySearch through GEDCOM (I hope I”m wrong!!!). But if they aren’t, it’s very easy to scan those photos into your computer (or even use the Family Tree phone app) and then upload those photos, certificates, and other documents directly to FamilySearch.

      If you are a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, your ward or branch should have some people already designated (“called”) as temple and family history consultants. Find out who they are from your ward or branch leadership and contact them. In many instances, they will even be able to view your FamilySearch account and see what you see, and thus be able to talk with you by phone to talk you through possible solutions to problems, give you new ideas on what you can do next, etc.

      Additionally, ANYONE can use an outstanding resource that was privately created, but is actually endorsed by the Church for FamilySearch. It is called, “The Family History Guide,” and the URL for it is . There you can learn in as little as 15 minute increments how to become expert in FamilySearch, as well as other online resources like (a separate, private company not connected to FamilySearch).

      There’s much more, but I don’t want you to feel overwhelmed at this point, so I hope this will be a very good starting point. Corrections by others to any erroneous information above will be very welcome! Best wishes in your work – you really do have the spirit of this work!

  4. I can’t seem to get into the familysearch Wednesday 4 PM class on my computer. These instructions are for Instagram for the Tuesday and Thursday classes. How do we watch the Wednesday class?

  5. Instructions were given for joining instagram sessions. Nothing was given for joining Facebook sessions. I’m looking but finding nothing.

  6. On my laptop, the FS Live session begins, they get as far as announcing that someone frompringville has joined, and then the page changes and I’m dropped. When I can get back in, it starts all over again, until the person from Springville is announced.

  7. I have a number of relatives who are shared by the temple, some who have been there since 2014. It would be appreciated to have things updated to only 2 years & even nicer to not have to waste the time to request them. If I went to the temple & asked for a name, I wouldn’t be related & could do the name. I feel it should be the same sitiation here. I’ve not had one name done as I have have kept watch over these names. I do a lot of Family History, so I know how to request. A few names I’ve submitted, I’ve never gotten an answer back. It gets very discouraging. PLEASE update the files & consider my request. The people who share the names have no intentions of doing them. It would be better to just leave them to be found by folks like me. Thanks so much. It won’t let me type in my name – Kayla Marlene Bond

  8. I have been trying to get on the LIVE Family Search without luck. i need some help trying to access this. if not for today then maybe tomorrow.