Cardston Alberta Family History Centre

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FamilySearch This article describes the services and resources available at a Family History Centre, a branch facility of the Family History Library.

Centre Contacts and Hours

Location & Map:
*Address: 138 - 4 AVE WEST, CARDSTON AB T0K0K0

  • Building is located adjacent to Cardston High School parking lot (east of the high school)
    *Location on Map

Phone: 403.653.3288

E-mail:     Phone: 403 653 4056

FHC Hours:

  • Mon, Tue, Wed, Thur:   9am - 5pm,
  • Saturday:                      9am - Noon
  • Wed Evening:               6:30pm - 9pm

  •  Holiday Schedule for 2013

*  The Centre will be closed:  Saturday and Monday of Long Week-ends throughout the year.

'''* Closed:  Saturday 18 May, and Monday 20 May, for Victoria Day long week-end.

  • Closed:  Saturday 29 June, and Monday 01 July, for Canada Day long week-end.
  • Closed:  Saturday 31 August, and Monday 02 September, for Labor Day long week-end.
  • Closed:  Saturday 05 October for LDS General Conference from Salt Lake.
  • Closed:  Saturday 09 November, and Monday 11 November, for Remembrance Day
  • Closed: Tuesday 03 December until Monday 06 January 2014, for Christmas season.

 Calendar and Events

* Summer Hours at the Cardston FHC commence Monday, 03 June 2013.

     * June hours

          * Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday:     9am - Noon

                                        Wednesday Evening         6:30 - 9pm

     * July hours

         * Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday                    9am - Noon

                                        Wednesday Evening        630 - 9pm

     * August hours

          * Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday                  9am - Noon

                                        Wednesday Evening        630 - Noon

* Regular Hours will commence Tuesday, 03 September 2013 after Labor Day.

Upcoming Events


Indexing classes will be offered the first Thursday of each month from 7 - 8 pm at the Cardston Family History Centre, as long as there is enough interest in learning about indexing.  

Contact Jean Wilson 403 653 4576 or Eric Quinton 403 308 2404 for information and to register.

Next Indexing class will be Thursday, 11 April 2013, 7-8 pm.

Class Schedule:

Family History classes for the general public are presently being offered.  Contact Laureen Toth for information:  403 653 2623.

Staff Training Meetings

Staff meeting held the first Monday of each month:  5:15 - 6 pm at the FHC during the regular season.

Mini training lessons are held at each staff meeting.

Centre Resources


  • Family History Library Catalog: This centre has the ability to order any of the films and fiche available through the Family History Library Catalog.  However, the Church encourages patrons to order films and fiche from home computers.  Patrons are notified by email and telephone when these items are mailed from Salt Lake and arrive at the Cardston FHC.  Patrons may read the films at the FHC.

Databases and Software

  • FHC Portal: This centre has access to the Family History Center Portal page which gives free access in the centre to premium family history software and websites that generally charge for subscriptions.
  • Databases & Software
  • Genealogy database software (Ancestral Quest, Family Insight, Legacy, PAF, RootsMagic)
  • Charting software (PAF Companion, Legacy Charting)
  • Word processing, spreadsheet and presentation software such as OpenOffice 
  • Free access to several subscription sites through the FamilySearch Portal such as, Access Newspaper Archive, Alexander Street Press - American Civil War, ArkivDigital - Swedish, British Newspapers, Find-My-Past, - (Footnote), Genealogist, Heritage Quest Online, Historic Map Works, Paper Trail, and World Vital Records.
  • Free internet access to the New England Historical and Genealogical Society (NEHGS) website 

Hardware and Equipment

  • 14 networked computers with printer access             
  • 4 microfilm readers           
  • 1 microfiche reader             
  •  Copy Machine 

Multimedia Centre
Cardston Family History Centre has an area where you can work with equipment consisting of a computer, and printer.  :*Scan photos and transfer them to a flash drive or to a DVD. You can also make printed copies. Use the software to edit, enhance, correct, add to, or delete unwanted material from a photo-graph. Scan pictures and print them, or transfer them to your flash drive or DVD.

Centre Services

Staff Research Specialties

Resources in the Local Area

Cardston Public Library   25 - 3 Ave West  -   Phone Number: 403 653 4775

Cardston Historical Society visits by appointment.-  President: Noel Burt 403 653 3431 or Maxine Rogers: 403 653 2746


Group Activities
The Cardston Family History Centre is pleased and eager to offer the opportunity for individuals, organizations, and other groups to schedule a group visit to our Centre. We offer a variety of options that are sure to provide interest to your group - Youth, Adult, Church, Organization, Club, etc. Please review the following guide lines for scheduling a group visit.

Group Size
If you want a tour of the Centre, groups should be 10 or fewer to avoid distrubing other patrons who are working.  If you want to schedule a time for instruction, we have 2 options - Our large classroom has 13 computers and our smaller classroom has 1 computer and screen for group instruction where all patrons don't need a computer.

Reservation Procedure
Determine the date you would like to come by checking our Online Calendar for available dates.
Determine the goal for you visit. You may want to check the list of suggested activities below for ideas.
Call the Centre - 403 653 3288 or 403 653 4056 (Ron or Valorie Kapcsos) to reserve the date. 

Available Times
In order to use the Centre as efficiently as possible, we suggest the following times:
Evening group visits: Tue, Wed, & Thur  are scheduled appointments beginning at at 7:00 PM.

Adults accompanying youth groups should prepare to actively participate with their youth.
Local ward family history consultants are an excellent resource and should be brought with your group. They will provide continuity after your visit.

Copies of any documents found during your visit can be printed at the Centre for $0.10 each.

(B/W 81/2 "x 11").  Documents could also be scanned and saved to your flash drive.

Guidelines for a Successful and Rewarding Visit 

“ The Cardston Family History Centre computers have been recently updated and upgraded to allow patrons easier and enhanced access to many of the exciting new genealogy programs and websites provided by the Church Family History department. These changes require some new procedures when working with older programs like PAF. To work efficiently with PAF we recommend that Patrons bring two USB drives (sticks) with them in future. One should have a working copy of PAF and the other will be used for backing up your work when you finish your research.”

LDS Account Registration: Each LDS member of the group needs to have an LDS Login Account BEFORE coming to the Centre. Please have them log into or another church account site to make sure their username and password are working. For members who don't have a current account, have them register for one prior to your visit. They can do this by going to and clicking on the Register for an LDS Account button on the right side of the screen and entering the necessary information, which includes their church membership number and birth date. Their membership number is on their temple recommend or can be provided by their ward clerk.

Personal Family History Information: Except for Indexing visits, please have everyone bring a personal Pedigree Chart with as much family information as possible.

Specific Goal or Objective to Accomplish: Each group should have an idea or goal, before they arrive, of what they would like to accomplish during the visit to the Centre.

Suggested Activities at the Centre
While most of the activities below can be done at the Centre, we've also tried to give you the forms, websites, etc. needed so you could prepare these activities for your own groups - Youth groups, Family History classes, Relief Society mini classes, etc.          

Children 8-11

 Youth 12-18
Introduction to the Family History Centre:  A tour and overview of the Centre, including the resources, tools, equipment, computers, multimedia & oral history center available for use by our patrons. History Activities for Children: History Activities for Children:

Introduction to FamilySearch / Family Tree:  Finding an ancestor on FamilyTree, or doing research on FamilySearch, to locate historical documents about that ancestor and learn more about him/ her.  

To learn more about using Family Tree, Sign in to your account, click on Family Tree, click Get Started or View Training. View Training allows you to learn how to navigate on Family Tree.

Great preparation for Pioneer Trek
We use the 3 short videos - Steps 1, 2 & 3 found at allowing time after each for hands-on practice.

The Youth may also like to create a 9-generation Fan Chart in pdf format which they can save to a flash drive and get printed at a local print shop (our printers do not print large enough to make the chart readable). (Local drug stores or businesses may offer this service.) (Find an ancestor) View the video - Family History - Made Simple (2:19), excellent for children as well as adults. It ends with the suggestion to search
You could then view the video "Step 2 - Discover a Family Record" (2:23)

FamilySearch Website - A Great Place to Do Research

FamilySearch - More ways to search for ancestors

FamilySearch - Even more ways to search for ancestors

Introduction to Indexing - An overview of the why and how of indexing with hands-on practice.
Go to FamilySearch Indexing and take the 2 minute Test Drive (button in upper right).
Another good getting started video is FamilySearch Indexing Quick Start (5:49)
Youth may also enjoy the Indexing App for their phone or tablet.

Research Quick Start - A focused presentation demonstrating popular research websites to find specific information on your ancestors.'

Cemetery Scavenger Hunt - Find a Grave is an excellent research site where volunteers post information about their deceased ancestors in cemeteries around the world. You may find birth / death dates, tombstone pictures, links to other family members, photos and even biographical information.
This scavenger hunt type activity will help you learn how to use the site and inspire you to contribute as well.

Access is free at the Family History Centre

  • View video "Search for Historical Records on" (7:42 min.) stopping periodically to practice the techniques discussed.
  • Starting your own Database Begin by viewing the video - Family History - Made Simple (2:19)
  • Create a new database (Ask leader ahead of time, which program their group would like to use.)
  • Enter their own personal information.
  • View the video - Finding Easy Information (3:07) pausing after the memory section (1:18) and have them add their family members and information they know.
  • Open a new tab and View the video "Step 2 Discover a Family Record" (2:23)
  • Search for records about an ancestor on
  • Add the information they find to their database.
  • Continue the video -Finding Easy Information (at 1:19), then challenge them to go home and gather what records they can find and start interviewing relatives to learn more.

Volunteer at the Centre 

We are always looking individuals who are experienced with family history and computers and could assist patrons who come to the Centre.  The commitment generally requires working one 4 hour day shift each week, or whatever the volunteer is able to contribute.' We also welcome youth who would are interested in family history and could assist patrons at the Centre from 1 to 4 hours at a time.