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Introduction to Group Activities[edit | edit source]

Mix and Match Ideas[edit | edit source]

The Family History Library staff has developed various activities that we offer to groups as they visit the library. Please feel free to "mix and match" your activities to customize them to your group and the amount of time you have to spend with us. The activities that we offer fall under the following categories:

Group Activities

To understand how to "mix and match," here are several examples:

1) Scenario: You would like to bring a youth group to the library.

Mix and match ideas
1. Library orientation video (9 minutes) with Scaventer Hunt group activity (45 minutes)
2. Indexing instruction (15 minutes) with the hands-on indexing learning activity (30 minutes)
3. Introduction to (15 minutes) and with their FamilySearch log-in, they search for their ancestors (45 minutes)
4. Group activity "Super Heroes" to learn (20-45 minutes) ending with Elder Bednar's video.

2) Scenario: You have a genealogy society group coming to the library.

Mix and match ideas
1. Library orientation video (9 minutes) with a Question and Answer session (15 minutes)
2. Introduction to the Family History Library Catalog (15 minutes) and the website (15 minutes)
3. Introduction to the FamilySearch desktop (15 minutes) with the Granite Mountain Vault video (5 minutes)

3) Scenario: You would like to bring your family to introduce them to family history.

Mix and match ideas
1.Scavenger Hunt (45 minutes)
2.Celebration of Family History videos (5-23 minutes) and printing your Fan chart, requires FamilySearch account (10 minutes)
3. Introduction to the Family Tree (15 minutes) and research your family on the computer (45 minutes)

Remember, these are only suggestions. You are free to customize your visit to accomplish what you desire.

To request a group visit, please click on the Visiting Group Registration Form at the bottom of the link.

Research: Hands-on Mini Classes[edit | edit source]

The library staff offers a 15 minute hands-on mini-class to help you get started with your research. Various topics are available for you to choose. Each topic is offered in one of our Computer Labs. We have two computer labs, one with 30 computers and another one with 23 computers. If you are interested, please choose one mini-class for your visit.

FamilySearch desktop

Learn about the icons on the library desktop and how to navigate them. This class will help you understand what FamilySearch offers on our library desktop. website

An introduction to the FamilySearch website with a focus on records, learn, FamilySearch Centers, indexing, trees and books.

Family History Library Catalog

The Family History Library Catalog or FHLC is the key to the records in the library. This class will show you different ways to search in the catalog to find records.


A short introduction to FamilySearch indexing will have you on the road to indexing in no time! Come see how to help others find their ancestors with the records you index.

Family Tree

Use your FamilySearch account to long in to Family Tree and see the research that has been done on your ancestors.


Learn some search basics to research the genealogical records in Ancestry. You will be on your way in no time!

Indexing[edit | edit source]

There are several options available for indexing at the library. You may choose one, or a combination of indexing options.

1) Video "Indexing and Digitizing" (6 minutes)
2)  Mini-class on "Introduction to Indexing" offered in one of our computer labs (15 minutes).
3) Hands-on indexing activity that can be done on any computer in the library. It teaches how to index records with FamilySearch Indexing (30 minutes).
4) Computer Lab hands-on class on Indexing (45 minutes).

Videos[edit | edit source]

The Family History Library is equipped with an Orientation Room that seats about 40 people. If you have a larger group, our video presentations are available in all of our classrooms and computer labs. Some of the videos are linked so you can preview what you would like to show your group. The group of videos under "Celebration of Family History Videos" was created for the National Genealogical Society Conference in 2010. They are amazing! You may choose any one or all of them to show to your group. The entire group of Celebration videos is 23 minutes long.  Also be aware of the Library Orientation video that will help your group as they begin to use the library for research. Of special note, is the Granite Mountain Vault video that explains where the FamilySearch records are stored.

Celebration of Family History Videos
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Clan McCloud
Bagpipes? Why would you want to play the bagpipes? This video shows how a young boy's desire to play the bagpipes changed the way his family looked at their heritage! (5 minutes)
Woven Generations
Have you ever had to do hard things? The story of a young woman as she immigrates to America and the feelings of her mother as she watches her leave. A ball of yarn is used to symbolize how picking up the threads of generations tie us to the past. (2 minutes)
Searching for Emma
Learn about Emma Lyons, a young woman who contracted leprosy and was forced to leave her family on Christmas day to live in a leper colony. Her story of courage and faith will inspire all to move forward in adversity. (5 minutes)
Letters From Estonia
A family researcher traces the line of her grandfather, who left Estonia at the time of war, and starts corresponding with cousins in Estonia. She finally is able to visit Estonia and meet her relatives in person. (6 minutes)
Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory
Have you ever wondered how a song was written? This is the story of the inspired writing of the Battle Hymn of the Republic. (6 minutes)
Celebration of Family History
This video is a compilation of all the above videos shown together.

Research and Records [edit | edit source]

Archives to Save Records
Natural disasters are devastating for priceless genealogical records. After a massive cyclose his Nuie Island, near New Zealand, FamilySearch was able to give copies of countless records to the islanders. (5 minutes)
Tour of the Archives
Where does FamilySearch store all of their records? Learn about the Granite Mountain Records Vault, a massive storage facility used for maintaining and storing genealogical records. Get a glimpse of a place that not only holds the equivalent of seventy Libraries of Congress, but is one of the most secure places in the world. (5 minutes)
Indexing and Digitizing
Ever wondered what happens after you index a record? Want to learn what indexing is? Now you can do both, as well as learn about the importance of indexing and arbitration. (6 minutes)

Family History Library Specific
[edit | edit source]

This video is an orientation to the Family History Library. It introduces you to all the floors of the library and the resources we have here.(9 minutes)

Group Activities[edit | edit source]

We have organized our group activities with a little bit of fun in mind! Please be aware that the Scavenger Hunt is an activity where you search for answers all over the library. The remainder of the group activities will be held in the computer lab.

Scavenger Hunt[edit | edit source]

Grab a scavenger hunt in the lobby and you're off hunting the five floors of the library! We will organize you in small groups of 2-4 people and we have many different scavenger hunts. As you find answers, you will be surprised at what you learn about the library! (abou 45 minutes)

The following group activities are interactive, and held in a computer lab. Each person will be working on his own computer. We have two computer labs, one with 23 computers and another one with 30 computers.(20-45 minutes)

Super Heroes [edit | edit source]

Do you like super heroes? How about learning more about your ancestors? This activity will teach you about both, with you looking up real people on that have the names of famour super heroes!

Pioneers[edit | edit source]

Want to follow the Mormon pioneers on their trek across the United States? Here are questions that not only teach you how to use, but have a common thread that you must find.
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The usage of "Mormon" and "LDS" on this page is approved according to current policy.

National Parks[edit | edit source]

Similar to Pioneers, this activity is centered on teach you how to do family history online. Remember to look for the thread!

12 Pens[edit | edit source]

An activity that is set more for young adults and above, this activity will help you look for twelve operatives that are doing their best to cover their trail. You will be looking for clues and pieces in order to complete the whole puzzle.

Cartoons[edit | edit source]

With the young kids in mind, this activity will have them giggling with delight as they look for their favorite Disney characters and others in a fun, interactive session about family history.

Are You Smarter?[edit | edit source]

We all know about Jeff Foxworthy, right? Well then, prepare to do family history and go back to your elementary school the same time!

Familysearching[edit | edit source]

This activity, themed for teenagers and young adults, will rock your world as you look for famous people from all walks of life and history using Players, dig this, when this is finished, you'll all be a family history whiz!

Heroes and Villains
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Ever wanted to find the good guys and bad guys? Well, you won't be able to in this activity, but you will find real, dead people that have the same name as these comic and cartoon characters.

Kids FamilySearch
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Want the young ones to have some family history fun, but not sure how? Your solution is finally here! This simple activity was created with the young'uns in mind. They have to find our the basics of family history!

How to have a Successful Visit[edit | edit source]

1) Be prepared. If you are planning to do research, have genealogical information for each member of your group prepared on a pedigree chart or family group record.

2) Be on time. We schedule our classrooms and computer labs with multiple groups during the day, so please be on time for your appointment.

3) Be ready to work. Have your group members registered with their FamilySearch Account. Then they are ready to go when they get here!

4) Be respectful. We are first and foremost a library, and many people come here to work. Be aware of others as you interact in the library. Do not jump in the elevators as you move between floors. That will result in you being stuck in the elevator for about an hour! Not fun at all!

5) Be understanding. If you bring refreshments, they need to be eaten in the lunchroom or outside of the building. Library rules do not allow food or drink (other than a closed water bottle) in the building.

Guidelines for Scheduling Groups[edit | edit source]

Notify the Family History Library[edit | edit source]

Use the Visiting Group Registration Form to let us know when you are coming. We prefer at least three months notice. Be sure to specify the geographical area of interest or other specific requests when filling in the form.

Make Sure the Library is Open[edit | edit source]

Check the Family History Library's hours and holiday schedule.

Prepare Your Group[edit | edit source]

This is the group leader's responsibility. Have all members of the group (including youth) review theTips for Visiting the Library information.

Request an Orientation[edit | edit source]

Group orientations are provided by library staff free of charge. Standard group size is 60 or less people. Special situations for more than 60 people are evaluated indidvidually.

Check the Library Class Schedule[edit | edit source]

All classes are arranged in advance. They are free of charge and open to the public. Check the library class schedule for more information.