Valencia California Family History Center

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Interested in your genealogy? Are you seeking information about your roots? Want to know who you came from? Have you wondered who your great-great-great grandfather was? You can start or continue your family search without charge at the Valencia Family History Center. Established in 1978, it is open to the public 45 hours each week. The all-volunteer staff of research experts assist interested patrons, who have made more than 2,200 visits to the Center each year. In addition to providing personal assistance, the center’s equipment include computers with free access to premium websites, microfilm and microfiche readers with access to more than 2 million rolls of microfilm, printers, scanners, and a book library. For 24-hour recorded information or to speak with someone at the Center, call 661-259-1347.

Center Contacts and Hours

Location Map:

Address:

  • 24443 W. McBean Pkwy Valencia California 91355 United States
  • Language:English

Phone:

  • 1-661-259-1347

E-Mail:

  • ValenciaFHC@outlook.com or CA_Valencia@ldsmail.net

Open Hours:

  • Mon: 9:00am-5:00pm
  • Tue: 9:00am-5:00pm; 6:00pm-9:00pm
  • Wed: 9:00am-5:00pm; 6:00pm-9:00pm
  • Thu: 9:00am-5:00pm; 6:00pm-9:00pm
  • Sat: 9:00am-1:00pm

2018 Holiday Schedule- Closed:

 Feb 19 Presidents Day
 Mar 31 General Conference
 May 28 Memorial Day
 Jul  4 Independence Day
 Sep  3 Labor Day
 Oct  6 General Conference
 Nov 22 Thanksgiving Day  Closed from 5-9pm on Nov 21st
 Dec 21-31 Christmas Week (by appointment only-661-803-3469)


Calendar and Events

Santa Clarita Valley Family History Fair

Great Annual Event

Saturday, April 14, 2018 - 9:00 am to 4:00 pm

Pre-Register here starting March 2018

Family History Center Class Schedule for 2018

Classes are free and open to the general public. All dates shown are on Thursday - Instruction from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm.  To be added to our email list and be notified of upcoming seminars and events, click here

January 4, 2018

Class topic: "Don't Just Be a Search, Be a Researcher"

Description: In this age of easy internet access to billions of genealogical records, internet search engines, and SIRI it is easy to think all we have to do is ask a computer for the identity of our great-great-grandparents. Searching is a great first step. But then we must research. And re-search. And re-search again. In this presentation we will cover the basics of good search strategies and some tips about how to be an even better researcher.

(Presenter: Crista Cowan, Corporate Genealogist with Ancestry. Class level: All)

January 18, 2018

Class topic: "Mothers, Daughters, Wives: Tracing Female Lines"

Description: Our family history isn't complete without the stories of the women of our families. But all too often they're the ones who just aren't there: not in the records, not in the censuses, not on juries, not in the voting booth. Yet despite the limited public existence of women under the law, there are many records left by, about or relevant to our female ancestors. Learn how to find the mothers, daughters, wives in your lines through their own records and the records of their menfolk. (Presenter: Judy G. Russell. Class level: Beginner to intermediate)

February 1, 2018

Class topic: "A Deep Dive into the FamilySearch Family Tree, Person Page"

Description: This is a webinar by Kathryn Grant that covers everything you want to know about the "Person Page" on FamilySearch Family Tree. (Presenter: Kathryn Grant.. Class level: Beginner)

February 15, 2018

Class topic: You Found it Where? Unusual Records

Description: Professional genealogists from diverse specialties share the most unusual records they’ve ever used to break a case. Learn their secrets on how to find, access and utilize uncommon record groups to uncover your lost ancestors. (Presenters: a panel of experts, Rorey Cathcart, D. Joshua Taylor, Rich Venezia and more. Class level: All)

March 1, 2018

Class topic: "Adding Memories to Your Family Tree on FamilySearch.org"

Description: Bring your family history to life and leave a legacy for your descendants. In this class we will be learning how to attached photos, personal documents and audio clips to your family tree on FamilySearch.org and how to write little personal stories that maybe only you have or know. If you have photos or personal documents bring them with you. (Presenters: Tom and Linda Tippets. Class level: All)

March 15, 2018

Class topic: "Next Steps in British Research"

Description: This class specifically focuses on research in England, Scotland, and Wales, especially before census and civil registration were instituted in the mid-1800s. Because census and civil registration are national records that are indexed and readily available online, most people find British research after c.1840 to be straightforward. Before that time, however, ancestors' information is found in more diffused records, scattered across dozens of jurisdictions. This class aims to help participants learn the basic record types (many of which are available online) and methodologies for extending British family lines into the eighteenth century. Those records and strategies are also broadly applicable back to the sixteenth century, so learning about them is essential for conducting British research before the 1800s. This class specifically focuses on church and probate records, particularly between 1750 and 1840. (Presenter: Amy Harris. Class level: All)

April 5, 2018

Class topic: "RootsTech Keynote Address and Future of FamilySearch: A Look Forward"

Description: Stephen T Rockwood, CEO of FamilySearch will give the Keynote Address from RootsTech 2018 and Ron Tanner will present what new and exciting features are on the road map to the future for FamilySearch. This session will discuss highlights of 2017 as well as the projects highest on the priority list for the coming years. (Class level: All)

April 19, 2018

Class topic: "FamilySearch.org - 10 Easy Tasks"

Description: Come learn about 10 easy tasks at familysearch.org that can help you navigate your own family history. Learn how to upload and tag photos and stories, explore your Tree in new ways, index historical records, utilize hints, navigate new apps, search records, and much more.

Presenter: Devin Ashby. Class level: All

May 3, 2018

Class topic: "Finding the Answers: The Basic of World War II Research"

Description: All the records burned! A fire at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, in 1973, destroyed approximately 80% of the Army, Air Forces, and National Guard records. This is not the end of the research possibilities for researchers. Many alternative record sources exist to reconstruct service history. Learn how to research World War I and II records for any branch of the military and civilian service, in this informative program. In this engaging and informative presentation, you will learn: A trip through time, exploring the service history of several men and women. Explore resources to search prior to obtaining military and civilian records. Provide information on obtaining Official Military Personnel Files and Civilian Files. Show you what military records can be used to reconstruct service history. Tips on weaving military, genealogical, and historical records together. A brief exploration of the Individual Deceased Personnel File (IDPF).

Presenter: Jennifer Holik. Class level: All

May 17, 2018

Class topic: "Family History in 5 Minutes a Day"

Description: Learn how to focus your research and make sincere progress in your family history in as little as 5 minutes a day. Understand how to focus your efforts to make noticeable progress. From uploading a picture to FamilySearch or Ancestry, to attaching a source, recording a memory, investigating a hint, and more, we will cover 20 ways in detail, with step-by-step instructions so that you can effectively do your family history in as little as 5 minutes a day. .

Presenter: Deborah Gamble. Class level: All

June 7, 2018

Class topic: "DNA - One Family, One World"

Description: Learn how to focus your research and make sincere progress in your family history in as little as 5 minutes a day. Understand how to focus your efforts to make noticeable progress. From uploading a picture to FamilySearch or Ancestry, to attaching a source, recording a memory, investigating a hint, and more, we will cover 20 ways in detail, with step-by-step instructions so that you can effectively do your family history in as little as 5 minutes a day. .

Presenter: David Nicholson and Hannah Morden. Class level: All

June 21, 2018

Class topic: "Organizing and Preserving Photograph Collections"

Description: We all have mounds of old unidentified family photos sitting in drawers. This class will offer step-by-step direction in organizing, preserving and cataloging these precious collections for future generations. This lecture will also discuss identifying, digitizing and sharing collections using family trees and social media.

Presenter: Ari Wilkins. Class level: All

July 5, 2018

Class topic: "Choosing Details: The Secret to Compelling Stories"

Description: When it comes to converting research into narratives, the devil is in the details. The secret to writing compelling ancestor profiles and stories lies in choosing the details (facts) that will bring their stories to life for readers. As it delves into the power of details to engage imaginations and connect hearts, this class will address how we as researchers-cum-writers can avoid overwhelming readers with so many facts that they nod off before they ever get to the good parts of our stories. We’ll also examine where to find details that add socio-historical context to stories, how to manage the typical problems of having too much or too little information about our ancestors, and the ethical issues in picking and choosing what we share about our ancestors.

Presenter: Laura Hedgecock. Class level: Beginner

July 19, 2018

Class topic: "Source Citations: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly"

Description: How do you document the death certificate you found in your grandmothers stash of papers? How about the tidbit of information you discovered on a website or in a book? Use a source citation to help others trace your research steps and to give your genealogy findings credibility.You might need to create a source citation when creating a new source on FamilySearch Family Tree, uploading a source to your Ancestry tree, entering a source into your personal database, or when writing a family history book. Designed for the beginning genealogist, this session will focus on defining source citations and and the need to use them. Many genealogists wish they could go back to their beginner days and cite all of their sources, so why not start off right! Learn the who, what, where, and when method of creating your source citations and give your research some credibility.

Presenter: Diana Elder. Class level: Beginner

August 2, 2018

Class topic: "You’ve Taken a DNA Test, Now What?"

Description: Autosomal DNA testing has changed the face of genealogical research. Long-standing brick-walls are tumbling down as a result of this powerful new technology, but knowing how to use the evidence provided by DNA tests can seem a bit overwhelming. Learn how to review genetic information and how it goes hand-in-hand with traditional research to answer questions of kinship and identity.

Presenter: Angie Bush. Class level: Intermediate

August 16, 2018

Class topic: "RootsTech Keynote: Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr."

Description: Dr. Gates has a BA in history from Yale and PHD in English Language and Literature from Cambridge. He now teaches African American Studies at Yale for the past 26 years. You may be wondering "With those credentials, how in the world did he come to be doing a TV show about genealogy and genetics and what miracles did he just have at the Salt Lake Family History Library.

Presenter: Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Class level: All

September 6, 2018

Class topic: "Reconstruct Your Ancestor's World with Google"

Description: Join Google Guru Lisa Louise Cooke for a unique hour of "focused Googling" in the premiere of this new presentation. A wide variety of rich resources are available for free through Google. But it’s not just Google search that can lead you to genealogy gems. Google’s empire includes a great collection of free online tools that are all powered by the same Google search engine, and many are brimming with historical information. In this session, we will build the story of individuals from the past using Google tools like Google Books, Google Scholar, Google Patents, YouTube, the Google News Archive, Google Earth Pro, and Google Alerts. You’ll walk away with a game plan for using Google to reconstruct your ancestor's world.

Presenter:r. Class level: Beginner

September 20, 2018

Class topic: "Unlocking Roman Catholic records"

Description: The Catholic church is the largest and oldest denomination in America, but its records are notoriously difficult to access. They are also essential for uncovering the lives of millions of immigrants, Irish, Italian, Polish, German, and many other nationalities. Now Findmyast, in partnership with the Catholic church, is working on a landmark project to make these records easily accessible.

Presenter: Brian Donovan Class level: Beginner

Databases and Software☁

Free commercial websites at the Valencia California Family History Center

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 as follows:

The 19th Century British Library Newspapers digital archive

This fully searchable database of the British Library's newspaper holdings provides a complete run of 48 national and regional Victorian British newspapers for the 19th century from 1800 to 1900. These support the study of colonial history, genealogical research, politics, urban studies, and media courses.

Alexander Street Press, American Civil War

  • Research Data: Contains indexed, searchable information on over 4 million soldiers and thousands of battles, together with 15,000 photographs.
  • Letters and Diaries: Contains approximately 100,000 indexed pages of diaries, letters, and memoirs, including 4,000 pages of previously unpublished manuscripts, such as the letters of Amos Wood and his wife and the diary of Maryland planter William Claytor
  • Images, Photographs, Posters, and Ephemera: Provides a vivid history of the American Civil War with over 1,400 images. 
  • Social and Cultural History: Personal accounts of well-known historical figures.
  • Women and Social Movements in the United States: Organized around the history of women in social movements in the United States between 1600 and 2000 A.D.

American Ancestors

Advance your family history research today with AmericanAncestors.org! Created by the expert staff at New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS), America's founding genealogical organization, AmericanAncestors.org is the portal to the nation's leading resource for the highest-quality comprehensive family history services. Consult with our expert staff, some of the most respected genealogists in the profession. Read the most significant original scholarship and important publications in genealogy. Access millions of exclusive and sought-after records online. Learn with in-depth online courses and webinars from expert staff. Explore the largest collection of original family history research materials in America.

Ancestry.com

Ancestry gives you access to thousands of collections of records from around the world, including immigration, census, voter, vital, and military records; newspapers and periodicals; family trees; photos and images; directories, maps, court, land, wills and financial records, stories, memories, and histories; and detailed records about births, marriages, deaths, land ownership, and much more. It is the largest for-profit genealogy company in the world.

ArkivDigital Online

ArkivDigital is the largest private provider of Swedish Church Records and other historical records online! All images are newly photographed color images of the original documents. Click the link from the Premium Family History Websites page to install the current client version of ArkivDigital Online.

findmypast

findmypast makes it easy to research your UK ancestry and create your family tree. Search census records and trace births, marriages, and deaths to bring your family history to life. Please note that not all of the content from findmypast is available in family history centers. 1911 British Census (accessed through the findmypast website)—The 1911 UK Census is a record of everyone who lived in England and Wales in 1911. It provides a unique snapshot of the lives of those who lived at that time.

Fold3 

(formerly Footnote.com) Search or browse millions of historical documents and photos. Fold3 has refocused their efforts on gathering the best online collection of military records and stories. The Fold3 name reflects military history and honor, since traditionally, the third fold in a flag-folding ceremony honors and remembers veterans for their sacrifice in defending their country and promoting peace in the world.

Geneanet

With 3 billion referenced individuals and 600,000 trees online, Geneanet is the first site dedicated to genealogy in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Germany. The Geneanet community has two million members who exchange genealogical information.

Kinpoint Premium

Kinpoint is designed to make it easier for you to do your family history by letting you see what to work on at a glance; quickly find missing information in your family tree; and discover insights into the lives of your ancestors.

MyHeritage—Library Edition

Used by millions of people worldwide to help research family history, build a family tree, and add photos, historical records, and more. MyHeritage is an online genealogy platform with web, mobile, and software products and services that was first developed and popularized by the Israeli company MyHeritage in 2003. Users of the platform can browse through photos, and search billions of global historical records, among other features. As of 2015, the service supports 42 languages and has around 80 million users worldwide. In January 2017 it was reported that MyHeritage has 35 million family trees on its website. The company is headquartered in Or Yehuda, Israel with additional offices in Tel Aviv, Lehi, Utah, and Burbank, California.

Newspaper Archive

"NewspaperArchive.com is the world's largest online newspaper archive. Featuring billions of articles from historical newspapers around the U.S. and the world, NewspaperARCHIVE makes exploring history and genealogy easy and fun. Discover fascinating news in archived newspapers hundreds of years old—including obituaries, birth announcements, sports articles, comics, and more—to fill in the life stories you are interested in. And share those stories with others through our community at Our NewspaperARCHIVE. All of our historical newspapers are full-page and fully searchable. Try exploring above, and discover your history today!"

Paper Trail

Provides access to 19th-century westward American migration documents.

ProQuest Obituary Listings

The ProQuest obituaries collection is a premier resource for genealogical and historical research. You can use the collection to search obituaries and death notices from prominent newspapers, such as the New York Times (dating back to 1851). The collection includes both famous and lesser-known individuals and can be searched by name or by keywords appearing in the body of the article.

Puzzilla (Premium Version)

Find new research opportunities on descendant lines in Family Tree.

Hardware and Equipment

Our Family History Center is equipped with:
  1. Nine (9) large screen personal computers for your family history use. Four (4) laptop personal computer
  2. One (1) copier, printer (laser) and scanner that can scan to your FamilySearch account or personal flash drive.
  3. Two (2) laser printers (10 cents per page)
  4. Two (2) Microfilm viewers (35 and 16 mm)
  5. One (1) Microfiche viewer
  6. One (1) camera to take pictures of microfilm images you find
  7. Ability to convert your audio cassettes to digital MP3 or m4a for uploading to your FamilySearch
  8. Collection of family history books and publication

Center Services

Children's Center

You can bring your children to the center while you get help with your family history. We have a children's section where children 3-11 years of age can learn about their ancestors with books, games, stories, etc.

Staff Research Specialties

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Resources in the Local Area

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Links

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Volunteer at the Center

If you would like to volunteer at our Family History Center, send an e-mail to ValenciaFHC@outlook.com and we will contact you.