Tucson Arizona Family History Center

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FamilySearch This article describes the services and resources available at a Family History Center, a branch facility of the Family History Library.
The Tucson Family History Center serves the Tucson area. Established in the 1980's, it houses a large collection of family histories and genealogy books donated by the Southern Arizona Genealogical Society and Pima County Library.

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Center Contacts and Hours

Location & Map:

  • 500 S. Langley Ave., Tucson, AZ  85710-4834 United States
  • The free standing building is located on the north east side of the Tucson East Stake Center parking lot, south of Palo Verde Park.  There is ample parking and handicap accessibility.
  • Location Map

Phone: 520-298-0905

E-mail: az_tucson@ldsmail.net

Facebook: Search "Tucson Family History Center" on Facebook to join our group to receive updates and information on Center events.

Open Hours (note 2018 holiday schedule below):

  • Tuesday 10 am - 8 pm (if patrons are at the Center at 8 pm and want to keep working, we will remain open until 9 pm)
  • Wednesday 10am - 2 pm
  • Thursday 10 am - 8 pm (if patrons are at the Center at 8 pm and want to keep working, we will remain open until 9 pm)
  • Friday 10 am - 5 pm
  • Saturday 10 am - 5 pm
  • Closed: Sunday and Monday
  • Closed for Holidays - Thanksgiving: November 20 through November 26 Christmas: December 23 through January 7 (reopen January 8, 2019)
  • Closed for General Conference - October 6 (Saturday)

Jewish Special Interest Group

A special interest group for those interested in Jewish Research meets every first Wednesday of the month from 3:00PM to 5:00PM at the Center. The group is facilitated by Moreen Ferdie. We usually meet as a group for education and sharing first and then move to the computers to do individual research. The group is open to anyone.

Family History Fair 2019 - Saturday, February 2, 2019

  • Location: Tucson East Stake Center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Tucson Family History Center (in the parking lot of the Church) 6901 E. Kenyon (near Broadway and Kolb, south of Palo Verde Park)
  • Times: Keynote address starts at 8:30am and classes go to 4:00pm, with a 45 minute lunch break
  • This is a free event and no registration is required
  • Handouts: Handouts will be attached to the class descriptions below for you to print out in advance (Presenters will not have handouts at the Fair)
  • Displays: Several community interest groups and organizations will have displays to visit during breaks and lunch
  • Snacks and water provided throughout the day, tables available for bring-your-own lunch
  • Bring a sweater or jacket as the rooms can sometimes feel cold

Details are being added and revised frequently so please continue to periodically check this Wiki site.

Fair Flyer

  • click here for a copy of the Fair information flyer

Class Schedule

  • click here for the one-page class schedule

8:30 to 9:20 - Keynote Address

GETTING ORGANIZED ONE PAPER AT A TIME - Are you the lucky recipient of your family's genealogy? Do you have a box, a barrel, or maybe even a suitcase full of letters, documents, photos, family group sheets, etc?  You are probably feeling overwhelmed with either joy or despair.  Go ahead and be ecstatic that you inherited priceless stuff.  Don't despair because you'll learn how to take care of your papers, one step at time.

  • Presenters: Diana Elder AGⓇ is a professional genealogist and author. She is accredited in the Gulf South region of the United States and is the Presentation Specialist for The International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists (ICAPGen). Diana is the author of the bestselling book, Research Like a Pro: A Genealogists Guide  and creator of the “Research Like a Pro” study group and e-Course. Diana shares research tips on her website, Family Locket (http://familylocket.com/) and presents regularly at genealogy conferences.
  • Nicole Dyer has been researching her own family history for 16 years, and has recently begun researching for clients. She is the co-author of Research Like a Pro: A Genealogist's Guide and is a moderator for the Research Like a Pro Study Group. She lectures at RootsTech and other genealogy events. She is the publicity committee chair and steering committee member for the Pima County Genealogy Society and volunteers at the Tucson Family History Center teaching family history story-time to children.


9:30 to 10:30 - Classes

Merging and Correcting Errors in Family Tree

  • Presenter: Len Ingermanson

How to do Family History Research

  • Presenter: Pam Ingermanson

Getting Started with Genetic Genealogy (Beginner)

  • Presenter: Joey Caccarozzo

German Research

  • Presenter: Steve Packer

Clueing In to Census Records - Census records are the basis of United States research. Have you discovered all of the clues that can be found in each enumeration? Learn how to make the most of this valuable resource and find the information that will lead to you even more discoveries. Presenter: Diana Elder (see background above under Keynote Address)

Lunacy, Litigation, and Love Gone Bad - Oh My, What You Won't Find in the Courthouse - Official county records are a rich source of genealogical and family history.  This course will acquaint you with the types and locations of these records.  Judge Walter’s vast experience working in courthouses throughout the state of Ohio will help the participants in this course to navigate this seemingly complex and sometimes intimidating research source. Presenter: Sumner Walters has been working on his own family history for more than 50 years, and has recently been accepting clients professionally.  A retired Ohio state court judge, he is intimately versed in genealogical research within the public records that exist in county court houses throughout the country.  He is currently President of the Green Valley Genealogical Society, and teaches DNA/Genetic Genealogy and Beginning Genealogy, through both the Society and the community.

Researching Civil War Soldiers and Pensions

  • Presenter: Nicole Dyer (see background above under Keynote Address)


10:45 to 11:45 - Classes

FamilySearch Family Tree: Adding Source Records from Internet Sites

  • Presenter: Len Ingermanson (see background above)

Introduction to FamilySearch

  • Presenter: Pam Ingermanson (see background above)

Getting the Most Out of Your DNA Results (Advanced)

  • Presenter: Joey Caccarozzo

British and Welsh Research

  • Presenter: Jeri Martinez

Research Logs: The Key to Organizing Your Family History - Are you ready to take your Family History efforts to the next level and actually get organized? Do you sometimes feel like you have spent the last hour of “research” mindlessly surfing the web looking for records of your family but you have no idea where you’ve been and what you’ve found? You might be ready to put some order into your research! Learn about the different kinds of research logs then try your hand at using one. Presenter: Diana Elder (see background above under Keynote Address)

Google: Beyond the Search Button

  • Presenter: Amy Urman

Doing a Genealogy Project from Start to Finish

  • Presenter: Nicole Dyer (see background above under Keynote Address)


12:30 to 1:30 - Classes

FamilySearch Family Tree Questions and Answers

  • Presenter: Len Ingermanson (see background above)

FamilySearch - Searching Records

  • Presenter: Pam Ingermanson (see background above)

All About Ancestry.com DNA

  • Presenter: Kathleen Carter

Resources for Eastern European Research - The countries of Eastern Europe cover a large geographic area, and countries vary depending on what definition you are reading. This is due to the term “Eastern European” having a wide range of geographical, cultural, geopolitical and socioeconomic viewpoints. We will look at various countries that are considered culturally and geographically in Eastern Europe. We will learn resources both on the internet, as well as books, maps, etc., that can be used to learn more about our Eastern European ancestors. On the internet we will look at some websites and databases one can use to find records of their Eastern European ancestors. Presenter: Moreen Ferdie, PLCGS, is a graduate of the National Institute for Genealogical Studies. Moreen has been researching her family history for a number of years. She currently runs the Tucson Family History Center Jewish Special Interest Group, and volunteers two afternoons a week at the center.

Strategies to Use When You Hit a Roadblock

  • Presenter: Nicole Dyer (see background above under Keynote Address)

Genealogy and the Laws

  • Presenter: Amy Urman

Finding Your Family in Probate Records

  • Presenter: Jody Lynn Strait


1:45 to 2:45 - Classes

Secrets to Successful Ancestry.com Searches

  • Presenter: Sherri Hessick

FamilySearch - Using the Wiki

  • Presenter: Pam Ingermanson (see background above)

Y-DNA

  • Presenter: Kathleen Carter

The Ins and Outs of Newspaper Research - Newspapers are a great source of family history details. Newspapers give facts and tell stories of our ancestor’s lives. We will learn some tips and tricks to searching newspapers, briefly cover what different facts one can learn about their ancestors in newspapers, and look at a number of newspaper websites and databases (including how to effectively search them). Presenter: Moreen Ferdie (see background above under Resources for Eastern European Research)

Location, Location, Location: Putting Your Ancestors in Their Place - Do you have a difficult ancestor? One that just won’t stay put in one place? Are records difficult to find in the location you finally have him pinpointed? Have you been more interested in finding names and dates than discovering the what, where, and why of your family? If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, maybe it’s time to take a step back from searching for specific records and put your ancestors in their place. Presenter: Diana Elder (see background above under Keynote Address)

Finding the Living

  • Presenter: Amy Urman

Document Analysis

  • Presenter: Leslie Carney


3:00 to 4:00 - Classes

The Family History Guide (thefhguide.com) - The Family History Guide is a "game-changing, must-use" resource for family history researchers, from beginners to experts. We'll go over the vast amount of information and resources in the Guide and demonstrate its value for everyone, no matter where they are in their family history discovery journey. No more Googling topics like "British Genealogy" and sorting through 130,000 websites! Presenter: Bob Black volunteered for three years at the Tucson Family History Center before becoming the Center director in 2014. He is a trainer for thefhguide.com and often presents to community groups on Center resources, FamilySearch.org, The Family History Guide, and other general family history topics. He is a member of the Pima County Genealogical Society steering committee.

Adding Memories to FamilySearch Family Tree

  • Presenter: Pam Ingermanson (see background above)

Mitochondrial DNA

  • Presenter: Kathleen Carter

Where to Find Records for Your Jewish Ancestors - Genealogists researching their Jewish ancestors find many online websites/databases to search. Some of these websites/databases are specifically for Jewish research (ex. JewishGen, Yad Vashem, etc), and others are for all denominations (ex. Ancestry, Family Search, Fold 3, My Heritage, etc). During this presentation we will look at some of these websites/databases and learn how to search them effectively, with step by step directions on how to find specifically Jewish ancestors. We will look at the ones already listed above plus many other online websites/databases. Presenter: Moreen Ferdie - (see background above under Resources for Eastern European Research)

The FamilySearch Catalog: A Researcher's Best Friend - Where can you find the answer to your difficult research problem? It might be hidden in one of the databases on FamilySearch. Learn tips and tricks to locate records for your ancestor using the online FamilySearch Catalog. Presenter: Diana Elder (see background above under Keynote Address)

Paper Trail of Death

  • Presenter: Amy Urman

ArkivDigital Website - A Must of Swedish Research

  • Presenter: Len Ingermanson (see background above)


The Family History Guide

Go to www.thefhguide.com for a free learning, resource, and training center for family history/genealogy.

The Family History Guide Mission Statement: "Our mission is to greatly increase the number of people actively involved in family history worldwide, and to make everyone's family history journey easier, more efficient, and more enjoyable."

Here are some of the unique features you'll find on the site:

  • Over 1,200 Goals for learning, supported by over 2,300 flexible Choices
  • Step-by-step instructions to make learning easier
  • Instructions on how to access and use FamilySearch, Ancestry, Find-My-Past, and MyHeritage
  • Links to over 2,400 videos and articles from FamilySearch, Ancestry, and more
  • QUIKLinks that take you to record searches from multiple sources, with a single click
  • A Vault full of additional resources not included in the learning goals
  • Project Tracker sheets and Training materials for self-study or group instruction
  • Family history resources for families, youth, and children
  • Extensive information for Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints member interests

Brigham Young University Family History Technology Lab

The BYU family history technology lab (click here) has links to several innovative programs to research, visualize, and play games with ancestor information in your personal FamilySearch.org family tree.

Past events

Family History Fair 2018 - Click here for the list of courses and links to class handouts

Family History Fair 2017 - Click here for the list of courses and links to class handouts.

Family History Fair 2016 - Click here for the list of courses and links to class handouts.

Family History Fair 2015 - Click here for the list of courses and links to class handouts.

Family History Fair 2014 - Click here for the list of courses and links to class handouts.

Family History Fair 2013 - Click here for the list of courses and links to class handouts.

Center Resources

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Collections 

  • The Cox Collection: This microfilm collection contains copies of US county histories published in newspapers in the 1875-1900 period, as well as city directories for major cities of the time.
  • Tucson FHC catalog Several thousand donated books, film and fiche as well as webinars are part of our holdings.This User guide explains how to search it. Be sure to "Search" the "Catalog" in FamilySearch.org as we are transitioning our catalog of holdings to that catalog. Many of our books are found in the FamilySearch catalog and our internal catalog, but some are only found in one of the two catalogs.
  • FHC Portal: This center has access to the Family History Center Portal page which gives free access in the center to premium family history software and websites that generally charge for subscriptions.  Websites available are:
    • 19th Century British Library Newspaper Digital Archive 
    • Alexander Street Press - The American Civil War: Research Database, Letters and Diaries, Images and Photographs
    • Alexander Street Press - Social and Cultural History: Women and Social Movements in the United States
    • American Ancestors (New England Historic and Genealogical Society)
    • Ancestry - Institutional Versions: US, Australia, Canada, Germany, Sweden, United Kingdom
    • ArkivDigital Online - Swedish church records
    • FamilySearch Discovery Experiences
    • FamNet
    • Find My Past (UK) - Institutional Version
    • Fold3 (military records)
    • The Genealogist - Gold-Level Subscription
    • Geneanet
    • Kinpoint - Premium
    • MyHeritage / World Vital Records (all content has been added to MyHeritage.com) - Library Edition
    • Newspaper Archive
    • Paper Trail
    • Puzzilla - Premium Services
    • Scottish Records (DOS program version)
    • (See "Additional Computer Resources" below for more premium subscriptions available only at the Tucson Family History Center)

Periodicals and Magazines

  • Internet Genealogy
  • NGS quarterly
  • American Ancestors (NEHGS online magazine)

Computer Software Programs and Resources

We  have deluxe versions of the following genealogy management software for you to "test drive."

  • Legacy 9
  • Roots Magic 6 and 7 (software programs that interact with Family Search and My Heritage)
  • Ancestral Quest 15

Additional computer resources include:

  • Genealogy Bank (the Center has a paid subscription for patron use)
  • NEW Newspapers.com Publisher Extra edition (the Center has a paid subscription for patron use)
  • American Ancestors Institutional edition (the Center has a paid subscription for patron use)
  • Family Tree Maker disks (some--check catalog)
  • Some Pedigree Resource File disks
  • PAF 4 and PAF 5

Family Search Compatible and Verified Programs

  • Many interesting and helpful programs that tie to information in Family Search can be found at FamilySearch.org/solutionsgallery

Hardware and Equipment

  • Eleven (11) patron use computers with free access to the premium sites listed above
  • Microfilm digital copier - copy microfilm/microfiche images to flash drive
  • Scan pictures and documents directly to FamilySearch Memories
  • NEW Photo Scanning System: scan up to 85 photos per minute at 300 dpi, flatbed scanner will separate multiple photos on one page (such as photo album or scrapbook pages), and 'auto correct' can bring pictures back to life

Center Services

Individual Consulting

  • Center staff are available for personal consulting with no appointment needed and at no cost

Staff Research Specialties 

  • British Isles: Saturday, 10am - 2pm
  • US: Thursday, 10am - 2pm
  • Other specialty times and languages available; send your request to az_tucson@ldsmail.net

Presentations

  • Center staff are available for presentations to community and religious groups. Please send an email to the address above with your request. There is no charge for such presentations.

Volunteer at the Center

  • Community volunteers with an interest in family history, a desire to serve others, and are willing to commit to a weekly or bi-weekly shift for at least one to two years are invited to join our staff.  Training will be provided.  Contact the center through our email or phone number at the top of this page for specific opportunities that fit your schedule.