Family History Library Computer Resources
Family History Library Computer Resources
The Family History Library has over 500 public guest computers available. Guest computers are located on each floor. Each guest computer is equipped with high speed Internet access, and a USB port accessible from the front of the machine. For more information on USB drives, go to Step-by-Step Using a USB and U3 Flash key.
Free wireless access
Personal laptops are welcome at the Family History Library. Electrical power outlets are located at each microfilm reader and at many guest tables. Free wireless Internet is available. All of the subscription websites (see below) are accessible through this wireless network as though you are on one of the guest computers, as long as you are in the Library.
FamilySearch is the umbrella organization and set of free online databases associated with the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.
- Family Tree. A worldwide compiled tree you can edit including names, relationships, birth, marriage, death data, with photos and source documentation. A good place to begin research, but remember to verify the information.
- Memories. Search for or contribute photographs, documents, stories or audio recordings linked to Family Tree.
- Search. Online searches of a variety of sources:
- Records. Billions of names across hundreds of our collections of worldwide primary records of births, marriages, deaths, census, church, cemetery, wills, military, court, naturalization, voting, land, passenger lists, obituaries, compiled genealogies, and many others.
- Genealogies. Large static files of lineage-linked family history data from Ancestral File, and the Pedigree Resource File.
- Books. Over 150,000 digitized online family histories including county and local histories, genealogy magazines, how-to books, gazetteers, and medieval histories, and pedigrees.
- Wiki. An encyclopedia of how-to-research ancestors often with great hints about local sources.
- Catalog. Describes the genealogical holdings (3 million microfilms, and 310,000 books) of the Family History Library and a few other repositories. Also, now part of WorldCat online catalog.
- Indexing. Volunteer indexing makes databases available worldwide on the Internet. Over 320,000 contributors added over 1.1 billion new names in 2014. Come learn how you can contribute, too.
Family history software access
Each Family History Library guest computer has access to a variety of family history software programs. Among these include: Ancestral Quest, Legacy Family Trees, Roots Magic and similar notekeeping programs. One such program, Family Tree Maker, is only available on the computers that are marked for CD-ROM use only.
Compact disc databases
Hundreds of compact disc databases are available either on the network of our guest computers, or for check out as compact discs. These databases are all described in the FamilySearch Catalog. Those available on guest computers will have a "click here" note in their catalog entry. Those on compact disc only must be obtained at the appropriate Access Services window and used on specially designated computers on each floor.
The Family History Library subscribes to the following online databases, and provides free access to them on our guest computers:
19th Century British Library Newspapers: This is a great database of British newspapers that have birth, marriage, and death information not found on familysearch.org or ancestry.com. It is useful if you have ancestors that lived in England.
19th Century US Newspapers: This is a great database of US newspapers that have birth, marriage, and death information not found on familysearch.org or ancestry.com. It is useful if you have ancestors that lived in the United States.
America - History and Life: This is a database of US Books, Academic Journals, Newspapers, and Magazines that can contain information about your ancestors that cannot be found on familysearch.org or ancestry.com. It is somewhat useful if you have ancestors that lived in the United States.
American Ancestors: This site is for US research, specifically New England. It is the website of the New England Historical Genealogical society. It has many records and databases that can only be found on this website. One of the most popular of these databases is The New England Historical and Genealogical Register. It is the flagship journal of American genealogy and the oldest in the field. A huge variety of genealogies and source material have been published in the Register for over 160 years, with an emphasis on New England. Authoritative compiled genealogies have always been a primary focus of the Register. It is very useful if you have ancestors that lived in the early American colonies or from New England.
The American Civil War Research Database: This site doesn’t seem to have anything that ancestry.com doesn’t have. It is not much help if you have already searched the Civil War records on ancestry.com.
The American Civil War - Letters and Diaries: This site has letters, diaries, and memoirs from the civil war which can’t be found on any other site. It is very useful and sometimes you are able to find letters or diaries from your Civil War Veteran ancestors wrote.
Ancestry.com: Largest set of worldwide family history databases including vital and civil registration births, marriages, deaths, divorces, passenger lists, census, naturalizations, church, cemetery, military, court, and land records, wills, directories, voting registers, family and local histories.
Arkiv Digital: 30 million Swedish church records.
EmiWeb: An Internet-based archives about migration to and from Scandinavia.
FamNet: Online network for New Zealand roots.
findmypast.com: Worldwide record sets with emphasis on British and Irish records. Includes PERSI.
Fold3.com: This site mostly has records from the United States. One thing that sets this site apart from many of its others is the ability for users to contribute even more information. Members may annotate, or "footnote," existing web pages or even create their own web pages about history-related material. The material contributed can include text, pictures, or even video. If you have original source images of your own that you want to share with friends and family, simply upload them to Footnote and use the site's tools to make your information searchable and available to others. It is useful if you have ancestors that lived in the United States.
Genline.com: This site is mainly for Swedish genealogy. It is the leading Swedish genealogical website. It has over 26 million pages of family history records from the 16th to the 20th century. It is very useful for people with Swedish ancestry.
Historic Map Works: This site is a huge collection of maps consisting of over 100,000 cadastral, land ownership maps detailing the geographic and development history of the United States over several hundred years. There have rural and suburban areas, as well as cities and towns across America. There is also over 100,000 pages of illustrations from the present day and over 1,000 city directories related to the maps. They also have almost 100,000 maps from other parts of the world. This site is not very helpful for genealogical research.
Historical Abstracts: This site covers the history of the world (excluding the United States and Canada) from 1450 to the present, including world history, military history, women's history, history of education, and more. This site also has more than 2,300 academic historical journals in over 40 languages back to 1955. This site is not very helpful for genealogical research.
Images of the American Civil War: This site has thousands of images from the civil war that aren’t available on familysearch.org or ancestry.com. This site is useful if you have ancestors who served in the civil war.
JSTOR: This site is a collection of academic journals with letters and images corresponding to them. This site is useful for family history research because it gives online access to otherwise hard-to-find historical journals. Researchers sometimes learn about JSTOR entries by searching Google.
LegacyStories.org: document, preserve, research, and share "living history" using multi-media.
MyHeritage.com: 5 billion historical records. Helps you research your family history, build your family tree and add photos, and historical records. Includes a private family site for your family only.
NewspaperArchive.com: World's largest newspaper archives with billions of articles from the USA and around the world.
One Great Family: This is a site with the goal of creating one giant family tree. It is basically like OneWorldTree on ancestry.com. Just like OneWorldTree, you must be careful because since it is all submitted information there is information that is wrong. Check for listed sources to confirm if information is correct or not.
Original Sources: This site is a collection of only original sources relating to World and US history, science, math, law, politics, philosophy, religion, literature, language, and social sciences. This site is not very helpful for genealogical research.
Origins Network: This site has British, Irish, and Scottish records all the way back to the 13th century. It contains many records that is not available on familysearch.org or ancestry.com. It is very useful if you have ancestors from the UK.
Oxford English Dictionary (OED): Most comprehensive dictionary in the world. Good for old terms for diseases and occupations.
Paper Trail: This site is dedicated to research of pioneers. It has journals, histories, of pioneers headed west from 1800 to 1899. It is very useful if you have ancestors who crossed the plains whether they were Mormon Pioneers or not.
ProQuest Obituary Listings: This site is primarily for US research. This site more than 10 million obituaries and death notices published in newspapers from 1800 onward. It is very useful in finding death dates of your ancestors.
Social and Cultural History: Letters and diaries online.
SVAR: This site is strictly for research in Sweden. You also need to click the link and the top right hand corner to view the site in English. This website is the National Archives of Sweden. It has access to Birth records, Marriage records, Death records, Census records from the 1800s onward. It is very useful if you have ancestors from Sweden.
The Times (London): This is a digital archives of the London Times newspaper from 1785-1985. This newspaper contains birth, marriage, and death notices from all over England. This site is extremely useful if you have any ancestors from England.
Women and Social Movements in the United States: 1600-2000.
World Vital Records: This site contains records from all over the world. It has a few records that cannot be found anywhere else, but most of its records are on ancestry.com also. It has linked pedigrees useful for genealogy research.