Puzzilla Provides Easy “Wins” for Heart-turning Experiences

April 17, 2015  - by 

Greg and Jennifer Saylin spend an awful lot of time on the computer. As Area Temple and Family History Advisors in Bountiful, Utah, USA, they are very busy training others to find their ancestors’ names online, and then to take those names to the temple.

“Our charge is very clearly to help people have heart-turning family history experiences that will lead to temple work,” said Greg. “Because, of course, family history work and temple work is the same work.”

In their efforts to bring temple work into others’ lives and to help make it personal through family history successes, the Saylins discovered FamilySearch partner site Puzzilla, and immediately recognized the tremendous tool it is in identifying opportunities—that is to say, ancestors—who need attention.

“Puzzilla is such a valuable resource, especially for newbies, those who feel overwhelmed by family history and don’t know where to start, and for those who think their family’s work is finished,” said Jennifer. “We’ve shown Puzzilla to dozens, maybe hundreds of people, and nearly every single time, they’ve got a name in under 90 minutes.”

Puzzilla 2
Puzzilla makes finding “targets” easy

The Saylins’ training sessions are for small groups, such as stake presidencies, stake youth presidencies, High Priests, seminary councils, and so forth. Their method is to talk very little, and instead to do hands-on instruction with each learner. They start with Puzzilla.

“Puzzilla is visually beautiful, but also simple to understand. In a few seconds, it allows a user to quickly and easily focus in on ‘targets’—ancestors (cousins) where children or a spouse are likely missing. This is an enormous timesaver. Once a user has a few targets—the who—he or she can jump over to FamilySearch and find the records to document the where and when. Because they know what they’re looking for, odds are very high that they can submit some of these targets’ ancestors to the temple,” says Greg.

These easy “wins” help turn hearts toward forefathers and encourage further family history work.

The Saylins offer a few tips for users or family history consultants teaching Puzzilla:

  • Look for the dead ends (adults without children) in your Puzzilla lotus flower by clicking the Targets button. Red marks indicate there is work to be done there.
  • Search for males first. Because women tend to change their names when they marry, finding male ancestors can prove easier for first-timers.
  • Look for ancestors born between 1830-1870. This is a good window to start with, because the records aren’t so ancient as to be lost or difficult to find, and the ancestor who were born more than 110 years, making them eligible for temple ordinances.
  • Help trainees print the Family Ordinance Requests sheets right there in the training session, so they can walk out of training ready to walk right into the temple to receive the pink and blue ordinance cards.

“Helping hearts turn toward forefathers, toward the temple, requires success with family history. And the easiest way we know of to succeed in family history is Puzzilla. It’s superior to other tools.”

To learn more about FamilySearch partner sites and apps, visit the FamilySearch Solutions Gallery.

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  1. Great article Hadley! I finally followed your link and got signed up with Puzilla and am having fun with it already!

  2. “and the ancestor will have been dead more than 110 years, making them eligible for temple ordinances.” This might be confusing as the 110 year rule is not based on death, but birth years.

    1. Roger,

      Good point. But the statement is actually correct. If the person has been dead for more than 110 years, then they would have been born before they died (obviously) which makes them eligible as well. It’s just said differently to ensure we comply the 110 years since birth rule (as you stated).

    1. Joanne, thank you for bringing this to our attention. We will fix this and have it printable soon.