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Welcome to the Las Vegas FamilySearch Library




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Computer Skills and Help

How Do I Start Researching My Ancestors-Beginners

1. Sign up for FamilySearch Family Tree FREE:
  • Go to FamilySearch.org and create an account.
  • Sign into Family Tree to start you family tree.
  • See the training (Left menu) #3 for Family Tree Training
2. Write down what you know.
  • Family Tree Chart
  • Start with yourself. Use the Family Tree Chart above to enter information about you, your parents, grandparents, etc. If you do not know exact dates and places, estimate them. Fill out by memory first, the from records you have at home and contact family members to help fill in the missing information. NOTE: always use a pencil so corrections are easy to make.
  • For each couple in the Family Tree Chart, fill out a Family Group Chart that will show each of the children in that family.
  • Circle any missing or incomplete information, and decide what/whom you want to find first.

NOTE-Family Tree is very unique with only one person per deceased ancestor in the tree. Unlike all other database trees where everyone has their own tree with hundreds of the same John Michael Smith born in 1815 scattered throughout those trees, Family Tree only has ONE.

WHY is this important? Collaboration for the best sources and information and whatever stories, pictures or memories one person adds, all who are connected to John Michael Smith get to enjoy those memories and don't have to search into hundreds of individual trees to find and add that information into their personal tree. This SAVES hours of duplicating work when we all collaborate to enjoy the fruits of everyone’s labors.

3. Contact your immediate family first:
  • In the step above, note the information that is missing and decide on the family member that might have that information.
  • Record any useful information and stories they provide.
  • Ask about copies of birth, marriage, and death certificates as well as journals, letters, photos, and other records that might be available.
  • Find out if they know other people you should contact.
  • Use this new gathered information to fill in the missing information on your Family Tree Chart and Family Group Charts. This will give you a guide as to where to go next.
  • In Return-offer to share with what you find and put together.
4. Search other sources.
  • A guide of places to find family history information can be found Here
  • Gather your records starting with the records you already have, and organize them in one place.
  • Explore online sources starting with FamilySearch.org/search for free access to family history records such as census, birth, death, marriage, military records, etc.
  • See the Tips for Using FamilySearch.org/search below to best learn how to use FamilySearch.org Search.
  • Get personal help by visiting our local FamilySearch family history center for free personal help and many other valuable services.
  • Center staff may also direct you to online resources as well as other local community resources.
5. Visit the FamilySearch Library to:
  • Access Premium Websites to search for records
  • Free access to Ancestry.com, Fold3.com, Find My Past, and more.
  • Personal help to direct you in your research process.
  • Free, hands on, training classes
6. Take the newly found information:
  • Add to your pedigree on Family Tree - To ADD and individual review the article Adding Family Members to Family Tree
  • NOTE-Family Tree is very unique with only one person per deceased ancestor in the tree. Unlike all other database trees where everyone has their own tree with thousands of the same John Michael Smith born in 1815 are scattered throughout those tree, Family Tree only has ONE. WHY is this important? Collaboration for the best sources and information and whatever stories, pictures or memories one person adds, all who are connected to John Michael Smith get to enjoy those memories and don't have to search into hundreds of individual tree to find. SAVES hours of duplicating work when we all collaborate.
7. Pick another ancestor/needed info

Repeat the steps 2 through 6 .

Family Tree Instructions

  • We have hands on training classes at the Las Vegas FamilySearch Library. CLICK on Print Class Schedulein the menu at right.
  • Family Tree Training This is the 6 week training used at the Las Vegas FamilySearch Library including videos
  • Family history Basic Tutorials by Judy Sharp: videos, PDF handouts and FH Nuggets below!!
FULL TREES - Learn the basics of Family Tree,

then concentrate on Lesson 3-Using the Start Page

HELPING OTHERS GET STARTED WITH FAMILY HISTORY, 48 LESSONS

HOW TO USE YOUR ANCESTOR'S BIRTH YEAR TO FIND THE BEST US RECORDS

Tips for Using FamilySearch.org/search

This is a collection of HISTORICAL Records that spans billions of names across hundreds of collections—including birth, marriage, death, probate, land, military, IGI extracted, and more. This online database stores all the historical documents and is available for searching. You can instantly search through hundreds of millions of records for information about your ancestors at FamilySearch.org/search
■FamilySearch.org/search protects privacy. No information about living people is publicly available.
■For women, use maiden names to find birth and marriage records, but married names for
census and death information.
■Add five years to life spans
■Try different spellings of a name (Miller, Milr).
■Try different forms of a name (Elizabeth, Liz, Liza).
■Immigrants often changed their names.
■If you can’t find information about a person, look for information about family members.

Getting Started training videos are found at FamilySearch Videos Watch the Getting Started 1, then 3, 4 listed at right.

Drilling Down into FamilySearch.org

Research, Handouts and Forms

Temple and Family History Consultant & Leader Training

Downloads for Consultant Training. Many of the PDFs include active links taking you to the website when viewing on the computer:

Writing Your Family Story

Find-A-Grave

Ancestry.com

findmypast

MyHeritage.com

AmericanAncestors.org

Geneanet

Fold3

Pioneer Websites

Why No GEDCOMs to FamilySearch

FamilySearch VS GEDCOM

Finding Women in Researching

Three Ways to Unravel the Mystery of Women in Your Research

Best Records for Finding Female Ancestors

Newspaper Research-FREE

Arkiv Digital for Swedish Research

Parish Locator ParLoc3-

Hungarian Village Finder, Atlas & Gazetteer

Jewish Research

African American Research

Native American Research

Military

Old Handwriting

Indexing Help Resources

RootsMagic

Animap

Training

Research-Area

Research-Ancestors

Start at https://familysearch.org/ Historical records. Scroll down and click on region or All Records Collections. Use left side to filter types of records, time periods and places.

Classes/Training/Handouts

RootsTech2020