While family history has often been a passion and hobby for older members of families, the younger generation is becoming more and more inspired to preserve their family memories.
At FamilySearch, we believe that learning about our ancestors helps us better understand who we are as individuals and creates a family bond that bridges the past, present, and future. Thanks to technology, preserving family memories and discovering our family histories is easier than ever before.
Below, two of our millennial friends share the FamilySearch.org website tools they use to discover and preserve their family legacies.
The main attraction of the FamilySearch.org website is the Family Tree tool. This tool is where you start to put all the pieces of your family history puzzle together. For blogger and online teacher of genealogy Jana Greenhalgh, regularly using the Family Tree tool has become a weekly ritual for her family.
“As a family, we use the FamilySearch Family Tree weekly to keep track of our ancestors, read their stories, and look at their pictures,” Greenhalgh said.
Her family has also used Family Tree to bring their discoveries to extended family members.
“As we prepared for a family reunion last summer, we reviewed the memories of several of our ancestors, and the kids couldn't get enough of the stories,” Greenhalgh recalled. “The kids made a poster of our ancestors’ beautiful photos to share with our family at the reunion. It's exciting to see the photos that are being attached to our ancestors by distant relatives we didn't know about.”
The Memories Gallery
One of the newer features on the FamilySearch.org website, the memories gallery, makes it easy to add, organize, and view pictures and other artifacts from your family tree. Blogger and family history lover Taralyn Parker says she loves being able to access the pictures of other family members as well.
“I love the memories gallery,” Taralyn Parker said. “My mom’s cousin uploaded some pictures of my great-grandmother that I had never seen before. She lives in Texas, and I’m in Utah, so it’s awesome to have access to her pictures as well.”
The FamilySearch Wiki aims to be your guide to finding information about subjects and records that may have been generated about your ancestors and the places where the records might be found. Greenhalgh uses the wiki as a research tool in a course she teaches at BYU–Idaho, Computer and Internet Sources for Genealogists.
“As a researcher and an online genealogy professor, I find FamilySearch's wiki to be increasingly valuable,” she said. “I love to point beginning researchers to the wiki and to explain that a vast amount of reference material is available at their fingertips.”
She added, “Anytime I have a question about how to proceed in my research, the wiki is one of my first go-to sites!”
Located under “Tree Tips” on the right side of the Family Tree page, record hints can provide you with helpful information on newly added records and information.
“The record hints are so helpful,” Parker said. “I've been stuck on my German line for a few years and noticed in the hints that German records had recently been added. Because of the hint, I was able to connect a son to one of my ancestor's lines. The specific hints for each ancestor are invaluable!”
The app gallery on the FamilySearch.org website is a one-stop-shop for getting all the apps you need to find, connect, organize, and explore your family.
What are your favorite family history tools and apps? Share them with all of us in the comments section below.
Are you ready to preserve your family memories and learn about your ancestors? Download FamilySearch’s free mobile memories app to get started.
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