San Diego California FamilySearch Library

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aka The San Diego Family History Center
4195 Camino Del Rio South, San Diego, CA 92108

(East side of building)
Don and Donna Martin, Co-Directors
Temple & Family History Area Consultants

Our Library and its basic services are provided free to the public.
We invite all who are interested in genealogy and family history to visit.
Our volunteers can show you how to use the Library’s resources.
To make your visit more effective, please bring as much information as you have
about the ancestor(s) you wish to research.
This includes copies of birth, marriage and death information or other information that you have. 
Don't forget to bring a flash drive!
A nominal fee is charged for printing.

Hours and Holidays
Patron Resources
Genealogy Research
Youth Program Assistance
Neighboring Collections
Latter-day Saint Collections

Principles of Family History Research
Getting Started
Our Class Schedule
Class Schedule
Guide to Research
Free On Line Courses
Forms and Aid
Research Problems Help
What to Bring to the FHC
Order Microfilm/Fiche

The San Diego Family History Center off of Interstate 8. Click on image to enlarge. Follow red lines to the east side of the building. For additional direction images, please click here.

Calendar of Events

We provide a calendar of our activities at the Library. Click on the hyperlink for the current calendar of events.

NEW!  New York Times Newspapers on microfilm dated 1 March 1984 to 31 Dec 2006. Located at the end and bottom of the microfilm drawers. 

Hours and Holidays

Location Map:

  • Language: primary English, some Spanish, a little ASL and a hodgepodge of this and that.

Open Hours:

The San Diego Family History Center is located on the east side of the building.
  • Tuesday:10:00am-3:00pm
  • Wednesday:10:00am-9:00pm
  • Thursday:10:00am-9:00pm
  • Friday10:00am-3:00pm
  • Saturday:10:00am-3:00pm

Holiday Schedule:

Holiday Schedule for 2017 - We are closed on the following days.
Saturday 1 April 2017, Tuesday 4 July 2017, Saturday 30 September 2017, The week of 21 to 25 November, The week of 19 to 23 December 2017, The week of 26 to 30 December 2017 and on Tuesday 2 January 2018.


In San Diego at 4195 Camino Del Rio South on the east side of the building with ample free parking. We are located across the street from the Penske Truck Rental Center.

For Google map, click here (GPS location: 32.777407,-117.103357)

Buses: For San Diego MTS public transport Route 18, click here. The bus stop is at 4141 Camino Del Rio South, about 225 feet west of the Church parking lot. This bus route does not run on Saturdays or Sundays.

On-site Free Internet Access for Genealogy Research

  • 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.
  • Access Newspaper Archives - " 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!"
  • 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.

  • - Institutional version – 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.
  • Find My Past – 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.

◦1911 British Census (accessed through the Find My Past 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. Note: Some parts of Find My Past access may be limited due to negotiations (23 Oct 2013).

  • Fold3 (formerly – 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. See Using Fold3 at a Family History Center for more information.
  • The Genealogist - No longer available except for UK use only per
  • Heritage Quest Online – Heritage Quest Online database. This service was removed due to contract expiration.
  • Historic Map Works Library Edition – Historic Map Works™ Library Edition is one of the most extensive digital map collections available, with over 470,000 high-resolution, full color historic and antique maps. The core of the collection consists of cadastral (property and land ownership) maps illustrating the geographic and development history of the United States and also includes illustrations, city directories, and more. This unique content allows genealogists, historians, and academic researchers to track the "residential genealogy" of families and locations.
  • Legacy Stories - Put the leaves on your family tree by giving voice to your ancestors. LegacyStories.Org is a social network for all things heritage. Provides a secure platform to upload stories and photos and add recorded narration. The resulting pictures, stories, and narration can be linked as source records on FamilySearch Family Tree. The site offers a full suite of exciting features, including:

◦Record oral photo narratives directly from your computer microphone. ◦Multi-media story publisher. ◦Social network for feedback and collaboration. ◦Public archives to view and share stories. ◦Five levels of privacy. ◦The Legacy Shop for heritage replayed books, DVD equipment, software, etc.

  • - Features comprehensive and exclusive British and Irish record collections dating back to the 13th century, as well as rare and unique photos and books to browse.
  • Paper Trail - Provides access to 19th-century westward American migration documents.
  • World Vital Records
  • - the database that is linked here to Ancestry, Fold3 and others!

This includes access to the International Genealogical Index (IGI) Revised - Pedigree Resource & Ancestral File submitted genealogies.

Patron Equipment Resources

Interior picture 2 of the San Diego Family History Library.JPG
  • 57 Computers
  • 10 Microfilm Readers
  • 1 Microfiche Reader
  • 2 Microfilm/fiche Printers
  • 2 Digital Microfilm/fiche high resolution scanners
  • 4 flat bed page scanners
  • 4 Multi-use Printers & Copiers. This includes scanning to pdf format via flash drive. One printer does color.
  • 2 digital cameras with monopod attachments for document scanning and general use. Ask staff.
  • 2 digital scanner for slides, negatives and small pictures (under 5x7")
  • Mini light table for slides and negative scanning via digital camera & smart phone. Ask staff for attachments.
  • 1 digital Kodak picture scanner system
  • 1 video recording room
  • 2 Multi-Media Classrooms (call to reserve use)
  • Many tables and chairs for research and smaller meetings!

Patron Research Assets

Interior picture 1 of the San Diego Family History Library.JPG

San Diego Family Search Library On Site Access

  • 40,000 Microfilm Rolls
  • New York Times Newspapers on microfilm dated 1 March 1984 to 31 Dec 2006. Located at the end and bottom of the microfilm drawers. 
  • 76,000 Microfiche
  • 10,000 Books, Magazines & Publications
  • 420 Compac Discs (CDs)

Salt Lake Family History Center - Access via on-line system

  • 2.4 Million Microfilm Rolls
  • 742,000 Microfiche
  • digital on-line records - more each month!

Patron Software Resources

The following mentioned genealogy programs are on our computers. This allows the patron to use them at the Library with their data on a flash drive, for training or for evaluation. These programs are also compatible with FamilySearch Family Tree. Except the older PAF program.

  • Ancestral Quest - Ancestral Quest is the modern version of the old Personal Ancestral File (PAF). Ancestral Quest Basics is available for FREE download. The free basic version is a full genealogical program with some of the AQ special print & web features turned off.
    Ancestral Quest now has a MAC version!!
  • Roots Magic - Roots Magic has a basic version called Roots Magic Essentials and it is available as a FREE download.
  • Legacy - Legacy has a basic version called the Legacy Standard Edition and it is available as a FREE download.
  • Personal Ancestral File (PAF) - FREE - multi-language versions available. While this program is no longer supported by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it is still popular and robust. It can be down loaded from various locations on line. Care is needed to download the free product only and not other products.

One down load location for PAF5 is here (click here). - There are other download locations, but use at your own risk.
We can also download a FREE PAF program to your flash drive at the library. Ask staff!.

Note: The default PAF version for the San Diego FamilySearch Library is PAF version 5. For more information about PAF, please click here.

Family Activities

Youth Program Assistance

  • Young Women Personal Progress - You have a noble responsibility to use your strength and influence for good. Let us help you achieve your Personal Progress goals. Faith Value Project: Take a family history class at the Family History Center, and collect stories of your relatives or others who have demonstrated faith. You may also interview family members or others and record their names.
    See also: Personal Progress Award.
  • Duty to God - The LDS Duty to God Certificate Requirements:
    Deacon - Family Activities:
    4. Keep a written record of your family history. Ask a parent or the temple and family history consultant to help you prepare a 4-generation pedigree chart.
    Priest - Family Activities:
    9. Submit the names of one of your ancestors for temple work or write a 500-word personal history.
    See also: Duty to God Award.


Genealogy Merit Badge.jpg
  • Boy Scout Merit Badge in Genealogy - We can help you accomplish your BSA goals for this merit badge. Troop classes available. Fill out the Genealogy Merit Badge Worksheet. Please prepare carefully and call us for an appointment with one of our merit badge counselors. Ask for Merit Badge Counselor Donna Martin or John R. Carpenter.

Class Schedules

Classes and times at the San Diego FamilySearch Library
January - December

  • African American Research - Thursdays 7 PM to 8 PM and the second Saturday of each month 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM (April to December) - Instructor: Margaret Lewis. Margaret Lewis is President of the San Diego African American Genealogy Research Group (SD AA GRG). Her classes are open to members and community alike. Her lesson content covers all phases of African American research from African origins through migration/immigration, to slavery, reconstruction, segregation and emancipation.
  • San Diego Genealogical Society (SDGS) classes - These classes are sponsored and taught by members of the San Diego Genealogical Society. For questions, please contact the SDGS at (858) 279-7347. No pre-registration required.
    • Writing Our Family Stories - 1st & 3rd Friday of each month 10:30 AM -12:30 PM
    • FamilyTree Maker User Group - 1st Saturday of each month - 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM.
    • Computer Basics - 2nd Wednesday of each month - 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM.
    • German Interest Group - 3rd Wednesday of each month - 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM.
    • Have you hit a brick wall? Help Group - 4th Wednesday of each month (except January) - 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM.Root's Magic User Group - 4th Saturday of each month 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM.
  • Ancestry - Introduction - Various instructors - daily Tuesday to Saturday - This includes learning to search, census & other records and family trees.
  • DNA Testing - By appointment - This introduction will help a person realize the pros and cons of different DNA tests. See hand out, click here.
  • Family & FS Family Tree Introduction - Instructors vary - Tuesday through Saturday -  Topics covered include basic pedigree building, sourcing, correcting and merging data.
  • FS Family Tree Family Photos - Susie Aincham - Thursdays - 6 PM to 7 PM - Susie Aincham has proven to be the resident expert in adding photos and stories to your online FamilyTree file. For a fun evening, bring your family photos and let Susie help you format and install them for all your family to enjoy.
  • Indexing - Introduction - Instructors vary - Tuesday to Friday - Basic instructions on how to sign up, train and help input genealogical records!
  • KISS Genealogy - Call for appointment - Introduction, setup with quick, effective documentation of research material. Techniques once learned makes you a more efficient genealogical researcher. To see the class handout, click here.
  • “On-Call” Consultants available for Italian, Irish, Scottish, British, Canadian, French, German, Jewish, and Spanish Research.
  • On-Film ordering - Basic instructions for the on-line microfilm and microfiche ordering. Handout available.
  • Screen Shots - Staff - How to capture screen images and save them for your genealogy. This includes basic cropping and renaming.
  • Family Search Learning Center Family Search has produced and continues to provide professional on-line classes for Family History research. These high-quality videos are available for the rookie genealogist and the seasoned veteran alike.
  • Example: The Genealogy in 5 Minutes playlist demonstrates how, in just a few minutes, individuals with little or no genealogy experience can make some headway on their family’s history.  Getting Started  & Five Minute Geneology
  • New Temple and Family History Consultant Training - (Call for appointment)

Neighboring Collections

  • The San Diego Genealogical Council calendar is at: THIS LINK. Scroll down the page for more info.
  • The San Diego Genealogical Society has moved and merged their genealogical collection into the downtown San Diego City Library.

Their main web page is now at: HERE! and their Research and Resource page is at: THIS LINK.

Latter-day Saint collections

Other links

Volunteer at the Library!

Anyone who is interested in teaching and helping others about genealogy and family history are invited to volunteer at our Library. All you need is a willingness to help others, learn and follow our general guidelines. To learn more, call us at: (619) 584-7668 and ask how you can help others by volunteering.

Picture Gallery

Hours and Holidays
Patron Resources
Genealogy Research