Introduction to LDS FamilySearch Centers
- Provide Discovery Experiences
- Provide digitizing equipment to digitize patrons' family history books, VHS tapes, slides, negatives, photos, audio cassettes
- Provide access to genealogical records using the Family History Center Portal
- Give personal one-on-one assistance to patrons
- Offer free how-to classes (varies by location)
Finding a FamilySearch Center
Currently there is only one FamilySearch Center:
More FamilySearch Centers are under construction.
Visiting a FamilySearch Center
Before you visit a FamilySearch Center, it is suggested you create a FamilySearch account to improve your experience in the Discovery Experiences.
FamilySearch Centers are/will be located in LDS Church meetinghouse facilities (chapels and Stake Centers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). You do not have to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to visit a center. Everyone is welcome to visit the centers and families with children are welcome.
The centers are generally staffed by volunteer members of local congregations of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as well as non-LDS genealogy enthusiasts from the community. Staff members are not paid for their services. More experienced volunteers may be able to assist patrons with specific research challenges.
- Learn about the meaning of your name, what happened the year your were born, and other fun facts.
- See where your family came from, view photos of family members and read their stories, all on 55" touch-screen monitors. Data used for the interactive experiences is drawn from FamilySearch.org and selected partners.
- Patrons can learn how they are related to famous people. Did their ancestors sail on the Mayflower? Do they descend from famous Americans, such as the Founding Fathers or U.S. Presidents? Are they related to Church leaders?
FamilySearch Center staff can show you how to use the center’s resources. To make your visit most effective, collect and organize the information you already have. Bring as much information as you have about the ancestor you wish to research, including available birth, marriage and death information. FHC staff can help you use that information to begin creating a Family Group Record.
FamilySearch Centers have computers that provide free access to many subscription genealogy websites, including:
- 19th Century British Newspapers
- Newspaper Archives
- Alexander Street Press (American Civil War Collections)
- Ancestry.com (Family History Library Edition)
- ArkivDigital Online
- HeritageQuest Online
- Historic Map Works (Library Edition)
- Paper Trail, A Guide to Overland Pioneer Names and Documents
(also see Family History Center Portal for a full listing)
FamilySearch Centers may offer classes and special seminars.
FamilySearch Centers vs. Family History Center
FamilySearch Centers (FSC) are different from Family History Centers (FHC) in purpose.
Family History Centers do not have books, films or other archives. They do teach research and have computers with the Family History Center Portal that gives free access to some subscription websites.
FSCs are there mainly to supply patrons with the use of various digitizing equipment to digitize their family history books, VHS tapes, slides, negatives, photos, audio cassettes.