Light the World 2018 with Family History

November 21, 2018  - by 
Light the World 2018

As the holiday season approaches, we look forward to the joy of family gatherings, shared meals, and celebrations. Whether you celebrate with presents under the tree, wooden shoes stuffed with straw, or a bonfire made from dried thorn branches, it is a season of joy and togetherness.

The Christmas season is an opportune time for breaking down barriers and for connecting with those who lighten our lives or whose lives we can make lighter through helpful service. Whether driven by personal convictions of faith or love for mankind, we choose to light the world.

Here are some ways that family history can help you light the world this Christmas season. For even more ideas of how to reach out to friends, neighbors, and loved ones, please revisit our suggestions from last year.

Week 1—Light the World

Join with others in making December 1 a worldwide day of service by aiding someone in his or her family history quest. Many people visit out of a desire to know their ancestors better. So help light the world by choosing to help someone learn about their ancestors during this first week.

How you can light the world—This week, help someone learn more about family by recording a family story or sharing a family photo. You can also add more information about your ancestors in FamilySearch Family Tree. Who knows? You could help relatives solve a puzzle that they have been trying to answer for years!

Consider volunteering your time by indexing names online. FamilySearch’s cool record hints feature uses indexes to help users make ancestral discoveries. The efforts of hundreds of thousands of selfless volunteers have made more than a billion records easily searchable online through FamilySearch indexing.

Light the World 2018 Week 1

Week 2—Light the Community

Many family traditions—especially holiday traditions—have roots in cultural customs. These customs, while dear to us and our families, can seem strange to those unaccustomed to them. (For example, doesn’t kissing under mistletoe seem quite strange, when you think about it?) It doesn’t have to be that way!

How you can light the world—Share your family’s heritage with friends and neighbors by inviting them to participate in a holiday tradition your family enjoys. (Personally, I’d skip the mistletoe.)

Light the World 2018 Week 2

Week 3—Light Your Family

The holiday season can be hectic. For as much time you can spare, focus on connecting with family and learning more about their lives—and, in the process, they will come to understand how much you care about them.

How you can light the world—Sit down and talk with someone who is important to you. Learn about this other person. Consider using the questions in 52 Stories or the FamilySearch Memories app to record for future generations what the person has to say.

To light your home, fill one of these colorful Christmas trees with names or pictures of your family and hang it up. Download a red-and-gold tree or download a multicolored tree. As a reminder of your family, these trees can be a bright addition to any home during the holiday season.

Light the World 2018 Week 3

Week 4—Light Your Faith

As we learn about our family history, we become connected to our ancestors’ lives. Because of the lives they led, we have been blessed.

How you can light the world—We invite you to consider the gifts you enjoy because of your ancestors. Take time to reflect—individually and as a family—on how you have been blessed through your ancestors’ lives. Jot down some thoughts in your journal (or on your ancestors’ pages on about how you benefited from time spent with them or their work and sacrifice. In so doing, you can enjoy a greater appreciation of the timeless gifts you have been given through your family.

Light the World 2018 Week 4

Invite Others to Light the World

To light the world this holiday season, consider learning about or sharing a favorite faith-based holiday tradition with a friend or neighbor. Of course, we suggest helping someone make a family history discovery—and, in the process, you can make one too!

The gift of family history is a gift that keeps on giving. The joy of discovery has no seasonal boundaries. It enlightens individuals and strengthens the family with each additional insight. So, as you think about how to light the world, remember that these are only a few suggestions. There are many ways to light the world this season! We wish you the best as you spread love and understanding through family history. Please let us know how it goes by leaving a comment below.


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  1. Thanks to Family Search, I was able to find out my gggranmother’s name and where/when she married my gggrandfather. Margaret Hamilton and Daniel McNitt were married in New York and soon traveled on to Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, where she did not live very long. She was alive as Daniel’s wife Margaret in the 1850 Census for FDL, WI. Daniel remarried and had a large family. The only record of Margaret’s identity was on this marriage certificate, so without Family Search/LDS Church, we would have never known her last name. I still know nothing of her family, but someday we may have that privelege.
    Merry Christmas to All!

  2. Chcialem serdecznie podziekowac zespolowi Family Dzieki Waszej pomocy udalo mi sie uzyskac bardzo duzo informacji na temat mojej rodziny.Jeszcze raz dziekuje.W zwiazku ze zblizajacymi sie Swietami Bozego Narodzenia,zycze wszystkim zdrowych ,spokojnych i pogodnych Swiat oraz szczesliwego Nowego Roku 2019.Mam nadzieje ,ze dzieki Waszej pomocy zmobilizuje sie do dalszych owocnych poszukiwan.

  3. Family Search has provided much information about my relatives. Some of them I knew others I had heard about and the family tree has grown with the help of others including some from France and Germany. I keep hunting for missing people and Family Search keeps adding more. Thanks you for all the work in preserving family history.

  4. Glad to have you family search org. Thank you for the gift. I was adopted at 2 mos.old. and helped me Alot and interested. I didn’t realize they born here and Europe. Still looking for one West African born 1600 to 1680, noticed 2 lines stop. That’s ok hope soon answer. Merry Christmas!

  5. Thank you for the good work you do. I recently found a cousin on 23andme and started exploring her tree. Although I did not find the ancestors that link us I was able to find more of her people on this site. Happy Holidays!

  6. I find more information concerning my family on this site than I did on Ancestry. Thank you for providing all this valuable information and documents!

  7. I’m an old woman with a very limited income. My life’s goal has been to find my uncle Paul Jividen formerly of Vinton County, Ohio. possibly born in WV. He just disappeared when I was a small child. Never seen or heard of since by family or law officials. I can not afford to hire anyone to search.

    1. Nancy – I just did a general web search using Google as the search engine, and found a number of men by that name. The most likely one was born in 1919 in West Virginia, and lived with his parents and siblings in Ohio. As you don’t say how old you are, maybe that’s a long shot. Your public library can help you, and it’s free; most public libraries have on their computers and a librarian has the skills to help. Also, you can use the database for free, too, and do a general search using just your uncle’s name. As this is a public forum, I’m not willing to put my contact info here, but if you contact Family Search, I give permission for them to provide that to you. I too am ‘old’ – born in 1940.
      Judy Schwartz

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