FamilySearch California User Group

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The FamilySearch California User Group was created on April 29, 2015 under the direction of Bryan Austad of the FamilySearch Department for the purpose of learning how the general public uses FamilySearch and finding ways to improve FamilySearch.

The User Group will meet monthly on the last Thursday of each month (except in November and December due to the holiday season).

When possible, FamilySearch will provide closed circuit webinars or in person presentations to educate the User Group and when possible have them try out new features and provide feedback to FamilySearch.


If you would like to become a member of the FamilySearch California User Group and receive an email about upcoming meetings and topics, please click HERE and complete the simple form.

User Group Meetings for 2018

January 25th: FamilySearch Mobile Apps: Family History, Anytime, Anywhere, Presenter: Todd Powell

Description: In this webinar, you will learn how to use the FamilySearch mobile apps to experience family history in a new way. Find out how to easily complete simple family history tasks while waiting for an oil change or for dinner to cook.  Learn about all the new features available now and coming soon as well as how to teach the younger generations. This webinar will show you how to set-up an account, start and build your tree, use record hints, and search for sources by just using your FamilySearch-tree app on your smartphone or tablet.

February 22nd: FamilySearch California User Group Workshop (not recorded)

Description: This will be a live workshop where you can bring your FamilySearch/Family History questions and as a user group, we will answer, demonstrate, and practice what we learn from each other. If you have a laptop or tablet, bring it. If you don't have a laptop or tablet, we will have 4-6 laptops for you to use. We will discuss best practices, favorite websites and apps for finding our ancestors and helping others. Should be a fun and informative night.

March 29nd: "Introduction to The Family History Guide". Presenter: Bob Iver

Description: "The Family History Guide" is the best tool to learn how to find your ancestors (or help others find theirs) since Cyndi's List. This live webinar will introduce you to this great tool and how to use it. Come and bring a family history friend. This is one class you won't want to miss!.

April 26th: "Research with The Family History Guide". Presenter: Bob Taylor

Description: By attend this meeting, will learn the best practices for getting started with research, forming research strategies, solving problems and using effective research methods, research tools for FamilySearch, Ancestry, MyHeritage, and Findmypast.  You will also learn how to get started or move faster with United States research and with international research.  As you can see, this is a meeting you will not want to miss!

May 31st: "Ministering to the One Using Family History" Presenter: Merrill White

Description: This presentation is designed for Stake and Ward Temple and Family History Consultants, Elders Quorum and Relief Society Presidents to help learn how to gather Heavenly Father's children into the temple that they may be saved.

June 28th: TBA

Description:

July 26th: "FamilySearch and the Future for Genealogists"

Description: It has long been thought that old genealogists never die—they just lose their census.  However, Mike Provard of FamilySearch may help with this misconception as he talks about: Mike recently presented this same topic at the New York Stake Family History Conference and at the Southern California Genealogical Jamboree.  We look forward to hearing from him and hope you can join us!

August 30th: "FamilySearch Tools for Advanced Users" Presenter: Michael Nelson, Engineering Manager, FamilySearch
Description: FamilySearch Family Tree can be very powerful in your genealogical work. This webinar will take you past the basics and help you understand the tools and tricks available through the hinting technology, merging, descendancy research and record tips. He will also cover how to easily restore ancestors links after someone has changed all your hard your work.
September 27th: "BillionGraves.com: Doing What Matters Most", Presenter: Brian Moncur, Chief Technology Officer of BillionGraves.com

Description:

October 25th: TBA

Description:

User Group Meetings for 2017

January 26th: Genealogy Research Communities on Facebook. Presenter: Caleb Love Click on the title

February 23rd: "Relative Finder and the Family History Technology Lab".  Presenter: Tom Sederberg

March 30th: "Discover You". Presenter: Bryan Austad

April 27th: Local Workshop, not recorded

May 25th: "New Tools to Help you in Your Temple and Family History Responsiblities" by Merrill White Handouts click here

June 29th: "Success Tips for Using FamilySearch.org" Presenter: Jim Ison Click here to download Handout

July 27th: "The Future of Indexing at FamilySearch and How You Can Help". Presenter: Devin Ashby

August 31st: Topic: "Marriages, Death, Divorce and Munchkins; Grandma Poff's Legacy of Love and Family History", Presenter: Dan Poffenberger, Co Director of the Salt Lake Family History Library

September 28th: "Using FamilySearch to Hunt Your Heritage: Advanced Research Tips" by Mike Provard

October 26th: Title: Helping Beginners Find Success in Family History, : Presenter: Kathryn Grant

Description: Many beginners come to family history with fears, unrealistic expectations, and even guilt. Some have had negative experiences trying to learn family history in the past. In this webinar, we'll discuss ways

to help beginners get started so they gain confidence and learn to love family history.

November 30th: No Meeting

December 28th: No Meeting

User Group Meetings for 2016

January 28th: "Explore Your Heritage Using the FamilySearch Web Apps" 

February 25th: "Improving the Helper and Patron Experience"

March 31st: "Helping Others Learn to Love Family History" by Mike Sandberg

April 28th: "FamilySearch User Group Recruiting" - Presentation Slides

May 26th: (Cancelled due to illness)

June 30th: "What’s New at FamilySearch and a Sneak Peek at What’s on the Horizon"

July 28th: “Choose Your Own Adventure: FamilySearch Book Scanning and the Books Web Site.” Click here to view webinar

August 25th:  "Principles and Tools for Helping Others to Love Family History" (Not Recorded)

September 29th WoodenVillage.org by Debbie Holtzendorff. To view the webinar, Click Here

October 27th: "FamilySearch Research Wiki: What it can do for you!" by Danielle Batson (This Webinar will NOT be recorded)

November 24th: Thanksgiving - No meeting

December 29th: Christmas Holiday - No meeting

User Group Meetings for 2015

April 30, 2015: Kickoff meeting for the FamilySearch California User Group (live)

May 28, 2015: Webinar not recorded

June 25, 2015: No User Group Meeting

July 29, 2015 Webinar: "FamilySearch: Past, Present & Future"

August 27, 2015 Webinar: "FamilySearch Mobile Apps":

September 24, 2015 Live Presentation: Attaching Memories to FamilySearch

October 29, 2015 Live Presentation: Open Workshop

Due to the Thanksgiving and New Years Eve there will not be a User Group Meeting in November or December

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