As you begin to work on Elder Foster’s challenge from last month’s newsletter to “…look at your own ancestral lines, do what is necessary to find the name of at least one of your own ancestors who need ordinances, and submit that name for temple work,” you can get help. Visit the Find Family Names for the Temple landing page to start.
What if I don’t have very many people in my tree? Solution: Start building your tree with what you know. Call relatives to help fill in the gaps. Refer to family documents if you have them. Enter as much information as you can. As you do, there may be family members who need temple work. The My Family: Stories That Bring Us Together booklet is a great resource to help with this. Start with the online version of the booklet, which includes information already in Family Tree.
I have entered what I can from information my family has. Now what? Solution: Grow your tree by using the Record Hints and the Search Records feature. As you find records of the ancestors you know about, such as birth, marriage, death, or census records, you may discover more family members. One solution is to find a person in each available census recorded in that person’s lifetime. Death records can be especially helpful if the person died sometime after 1900. The later records often include the names of parents. This may be especially helpful for people born before the middle of the 1800s and died in the 1900s.
FamilySearch doesn’t seem to have the records I need. What else can I try? Solution: Try searching on one of the FamilySearch partner sites. Each site provides unique value and resources for family history. Free accounts are available for all LDS members. Visit the partner access page to set up a free account on one or all partner websites.
- Ancestry.com: Offering 14 billion global historical records and integration with FamilySearch Family Tree. Available in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, and Swedish.
- findmypast: Specializing in the United Kingdom and its many historical colonies, with records going back to A.D. 875. Available in English only.
- MyHeritage: Providing family tree tools, unique matching technologies, and European records in 40 languages.
- AmericanAncestors: Focusing on American family history, from 17th-century colonial New England through 21st-century immigration research.
Also, try the FamilySearch Wiki for information on how to find other records that the world has. Information is available for most countries in the world, and the site is available in 11 languages. Search for a country, state, or county to find information about records and the information those records provide. There are also many links to indexes found on various websites. With more than 82,000 articles, you are sure to find some guidance on the FamilySearch Wiki.
What if my tree is full and I can’t find a name? Solution: Explore your tree. By looking at your relatives in nondirect lines—your cousins—you can find new opportunities for temple work. Visit the Descendancy view of Family Tree to see which of your cousins are ready for temple work. A two-minute video shows you how.
As you try some of these solutions, you will find success in your own research and build confidence in your ability to teach others to find names to take to the temple.