Introduction to the FamilySearch Catalog

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The <a href="">FamilySearch Catalog</a> describes the genealogical resources held by <a href=""></a><a href="Family History Library">Family History Library</a>  It is a guide to family histories; birth, marriage, and death records; census records; church registers; books, periodicals and many other records that may contain genealogical information. These records may be in a book, on microfiche or microfilm, searchable online or in a computer file. Most microfilm and microfiche records can be sent to your nearest <a href="Introduction to LDS Family History Centers">Family History Center</a>.

What Is the FamilySearch Catalog?

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The <a href="">FamilySearch Catalog</a> is available at, on compact disc, and on microfiche. Compact disc and microfiche versions are significantly outdated, and do not list films acquired after the publication date on the disc or microfiche.

Before you use the FamilySearch Catalog, <a href="Guessing the Easiest to Research Person and Event">choose a person about whom you want to find more information</a>, and decide what you want to learn about him or her. For example, you may want to find your great-grandmother's death date and place. To do this, you need to <a href="Guessing a Record Type to Use">decide what types of records are likely to contain that information</a>.

Which Catalog Search Should I Try?

The type of search you should do is determined by the kind of catalog entries or records you want to find. Click on the name of each search to learn more.

Use the following table to determine what type of search to do:

Do This Type of Search:

To Find the Following Types of Catalog Entries:

<a href="Family History Library Catalog Place-name Search">Place-name Search</a>

Look for a record by the name of a place (locality) where an ancestor lived.

<a href="Family History Library Catalog Surname Search">Surname Search</a>

Find family histories (and more) by a particular family name.

<a href="Family History Library Catalog Keyword Search">Keyword Search</a>

Get a record using any words or phrases in significant parts of its catalog entry. 

<a href="Family History Library Catalog Title Search">Title Search</a>

Find a record by its title.

<a href="Family History Library Catalog Film or Fiche Search">Film/Fiche Search</a>

See catalog details by finding the Library's microfilm or microfiche number. 

<a href="Family History Library Catalog Author Search">Author Search</a>

To find the works of an author by his name (individual or corporate).

<a href="Family History Library Catalog Subject Search">Subject Search</a>

To discover works based on the topics they cover.

<a href="Family History Library Catalog Call Number Search">Call Number Search</a>

See catalog entries by finding their book, compact disc, or pedigree call number.

When It's Not in the Catalog

Before concluding it is not in the FamilySearch Catalog try the following strategies:

  • Look again in Surname Search for <a href="Guessing a Name Variation">variations of the family name</a>.
  • Change the jurisdiction in Place Search. For example, if it is not at the county level, try again under the town, state, or national levels, or in neighboring counties and towns.
  • Try a variety of searches. Use a Keyword Search, Subject Search, Author Search, or Title Search.
  • Try again later. The Family History Library is constantly acquiring new materials.

Try other repositories. Many other libraries and archives have information about ancestors. Try their online catalogs to see if they have what you need. For example, try catalogs like the <a href="">WorldCat</a> (world's largest network of online content and services), or the <a href="">Daughters of the American Revolution Online Library Catalog</a>.

If a repository's catalog is not online, try contacting them by phone or mail to learn if they have records about an ancestor. For a directory of U.S. historical genealogical societies see http://<a href=""></a>  For a list of various kinds of libraries and archives try <a href=""></a>

Search the Internet. Many records are being digitized and put on the Internet. Search engines like <a href="">Google</a>, or <a href="">Yahoo</a> can help locate information. Also the <a href="Family History Library Internet Favorites">Family History Library Internet Favorites</a> can help find useful genealogical Internet sites.

Related Content

<a href="Introduction to the Family History Library Catalog\Top of page">Introduction to the FamilySearch Catalog\Top of page</a>  <  Previous  |  Next  >  <a href="Family History Library Catalog Place Search">Place Search</a>

<a href="Category:Family_History_Library_Catalog">FamilySearch_Catalog</a> <a href="Category:Online_library_catalogs">Online_library_catalogs</a> <a _fcknotitle="true" href="Category:FamilySearch_Research_Classes_Online">FamilySearch_Research_Classes_Online</a>