We accepted Elder Andersen’s challenge at RootsTech 2015 to take our own family names to the temple this year. This challenge starts with a name, but it doesn’t end there! To qualify for temple work, an individual needs more than just a name; and guessing is not helpful. One of the major goals of FamilySearch.org is to eliminate all the duplication of ordinances for the dead that has been going on for over 100 years!
Sloppy research will not improve the situation. We need to find documentation of the existence of each ancestor, and we do it by searching the multiplicity of historic record sets that are available around the world!
Autumn 2014 saw the announcement that FamilySearch was partnering with three major commercial genealogical services, allowing those with LDS accounts to start free accounts at Ancestry.com, MyHeritage and findmypast. At RootsTech 2015, several more partnerships were announced since that time! Our FamilySearch partner tree is growing!
With partner accounts (several of which are free to members of the LDS Church and to anyone at most family history centers), you will have access to billions of records that you can use to search for the required details to submit a family name to the temple. Finding the names, events, dates and locations that you need is increased with each new partner account.
It is a lot of work to go into the archives of a county, state, parish, school, newspaper, club, hospital etc, to photograph and index the information hidden therein. FamilySearch and many of our partners have contracted with these institutions at great cost to digitize their records so they are searchable. The unique record sets of each partner add to the pool of mounting information available digitally, making it much easier to find documentation of the vital information and the stories of our ancestors.
Will you find a census record, a marriage license, a military pension application, a newspaper notice about that elusive Uncle Henry you could never quite properly identify?
Each of our partners has search options that allow you to search through their records in a variety of ways. Both specific and broad searches can be useful, and the search tools on partner sites are able to allow this kind of flexibility.
If you don’t know names and dates, but you know your family was from a particular county in Pennsylvania, for example, you could look at records in that particular location to find a surname that might point to existing or new names on your family tree.
If all you have is a name, you can start with that name in the search and include any bit of additional information you have – such as their parent, child, spouse or their location or approximate event dates to begin searching for records.
With millions of new records being added every week to FamilySearch and to many of our partners, your search that came up empty last week, may result in a hit next week!
Once you find a record that matches your ancestor, you can attach that record to an individual in your tree and use the information to move forward with their temple work.
If you upload your own family tree on a partner website, the powerful tools there can work behind the scenes and find possible matches you may want to check out and be alerted to.
Every name you send to the temple requires adequate information to identify that individual properly. To be sure you have enough accurate information about your ancestor to have temple work performed, you can use records you find on FamilySearch and from a variety of partner websites to locate and verify the data you need. Some records on partner sites can be linked directly to your FamilySearch tree, but any records may be cited and the data recorded in FamilySearch, allowing a person to qualify for temple work.