FamilySearch Communities: Administrator Community

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FamilySearch Communities This article is about an aspect of the Genealogy Research Communities sponsored by FamilySearch.

Administrator Guide - Table of Contents

< Administrator Guide
> Administrator Responsibilities
> Administrator Best Practices


It is our pleasure to welcome you to our growing team of community administrators. It has been exciting to see so much research help provided since the first communities were introduced in May 2011. FamilySearch joins with all our community members in thanking you for joining our community of volunteers.

This guide is meant to be informative as you begin your journey as a leader in these online communities. Please take a few minutes to review the information and become familiar with FamilySearch's vision for your communities. Keep note of questions you have along the way and don't hesitate to ask.

Contact FamilySearch Sponsors or other members of the community by:

Introduction to FamilySearch

Please watch this 3 minute video to learn more about FamilySearch. -- What's Your Story?

FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch has been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. FamilySearch is a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at or through over 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

FamilySearch has been working hard since 1894 to bring together an amazing collection of resources for people interested in finding their genealogy. We do all of this for free with the help of volunteers and missionaries like you. We hope you will learn about our resources so you can share them.

FamilySearch hopes you will share other resources too. Our mission is to help people with their family history. We don't have copies of all the world's records; sharing non-FamilySearch resources is central to our plan.

Our administrator community

As administrators, we make up a community of researchers and family historians who have developed expertise in locating genealogical resources in specific states and countries. We have had success in identifying our own ancestors, have helped others to do the same, and have a desire to provide an additional avenue of assistance through social media. The broader volunteer community includes all members of each genealogy research community as they have an opportunity to answer each other's questions. We, as administrators, take a leadership role to encourage others to share what they know. Using social media to share information extends our reach and increases the potential for attracting new community members who may become interested in family history research.

To make these FamilySearch communities as efficient and useful as possible, multiple administrators will share responsibilities in each community. Our goal is for all administrators to have a positive experience through working together and ensuring that each community will be a successful and welcoming resource to the public.

Administrator community meetings

Each Saturday and Tuesday, a training webinar is held to teach about the different things that can be done with a Facebook page.

Though the FamilySearch pages may often be referred to in these discussions, these trainings are open to the general public. If you are an administrator of a genealogy-related page on Facebook, you are welcome to attend! Simply request to become a community administrator and, under the "Suggest a new community" question, type "Genealogy Research Community Admins group only."

Meeting information:

Instructions to join:

  • Click the above link.
  • Sign in as a Guest (your name will be shown as a meeting attendee).
  • Enter your phone number (no punctuation) to have the system call you.
  • If it doesn't call you, you may need to call in instead. Dial 877-459-7266, then follow the prompts and enter the code to join the meeting.
  • International callers may need to use Skype to dial into the meeting if the system doesn't call them.

Reviewing recordings:

  • Go to MeetingPlace.
  • Enter the code 5588 and click Find Meeting.
  • Click Past, change the dates if needed.
  • In the bottom section, find the meeting on the date of the meeting you want to watch.
  • Click on the number to go to the meeting room.
  • Click on Attachments/Recordings on the right side of the screen.
  • Click on the WebRecording link.

Special roles

Several other individuals have a unique role in our communities. Periodically, other staff, missionaries, or volunteers are invited to use their specific talents to help the entire administrator community.

Current special roles include:

Regional admins

In addition to FamilySearch sponsors, you will also have a volunteer regional admin whom you can go to for help. Each region generally has 5-10 communities. Regional admins are experienced volunteers who help facilitate friendly communities through:

  • Reaching out to the administrators in the communities covered by their region to offer encouragement, congratulations, or advice
  • A successful regional admin will take initiative in building a working relationship with and between the administrators in the communities he or she oversees (suggested minimum: 3-5 hours per week)
  • Leading by example, fulfilling the responsibilities and best practices of an administrator in their community and/or communities of choice (regional managers should not do all the responsibilities of their region, but rather facilitate collaboration between volunteers)
  • New England (US) - Cathy Napolitano
    Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont
  • Mid-Atlantic (US) - N/A
    Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland
  • Midwestern (US) - Mary J. Saylor
    Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin
  • Mid-South (US) - Fran Ellsworth
    Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri
  • Gulf-South (US) - N/A
    Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas
  • Great Plains (US) - N/A
    Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas
  • Mountain West (US) - N/A
    Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming
  • Pacific States (US) - N/A
    Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington
  • Canada and British Isles - Deb Dunn
    Canada, Canada First Nations, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales
  • Nordic - Bradley Marchant
    Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden
  • Latin America - Debbie Gurtler
    Argentina, Brasil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Hispanic, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Perú, Puerto Rico, Venezuela (Spanish and English pages)
  • Continental Europe - Betseylee Browning
    Czechoslovakia, France (French and English pages), Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Russia (Russian and English pages), Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine
  • Oceania - Michelle Patient
    American Samoa, Australia, New Zealand, Samoa, Tonga
  • Asia - N/A
    China, Hong Kong, India, Taiwan, Thailand
  • Africa and Middle East - Kelly Erickson
    Nigeria, South Africa
  • Ethnic Communities - N/A
    African American, American Indian, Youth / Young Adult

*ICAPGen lists Missouri and Texas in two groups. Here we have left Texas in Great Plains, but removed it from Gulf-South. We have also removed Missouri from Midwestern and left it in Mid-South. This balances the number of communities in the affected regions.