Virtual Research Strategy Sessions
- 1 What are Virtual Research Strategy Sessions?
- 2 Languages Offered
- 3 Booking Process
- 4 Preparing for and Accessing Your Research Strategy Session
- 5 Additional Research and Translation Help
What are Virtual Research Strategy Sessions?
Genealogical research strategy sessions are free, virtual meetings designed to provide you with research guidance, methodology, and next steps. Our research specialists offer helpful suggestions and assistance with your research goals, to empower you as you discover and connect with your family.
Virtual research strategy sessions are made possible through a partnership between FamilySearch and its Affiliate Libraries. You may be assigned to meet with a research specialist from the Family History Library, Midwest Genealogical Center staff, or a volunteer research specialist from one of our worldwide Family History Centers.
In addition to English, research strategy sessions are currently available in the languages listed below. Click on the hyperlink to access the informational Virtual Research Strategy Session FamilySearch Wiki page for that language.
Please take note of the following details before booking your appointment:
- These are free, 20-minute virtual sessions held via Zoom. DNA research strategy sessions are 40-minutes.
- Research strategy sessions are designed to provide research guidance, methodology, and next steps rather than research or record-lookups.
- We only offer research strategy sessions for the countries listed on the research strategy sessions page. As we grow, we will include additional countries and regions across the globe.
- Because we are trying to assist as many individuals as possible, we ask that you do not book more than one session in any given week.
- Please provide as much information as possible on the bookings form. This will help the research specialist be better prepared to provide you with the best suggestions possible.
- Due to contractual obligations, research specialists may not be able to offer access in strategy sessions to historical records that are restricted to Family History Centers and Affiliate Libraries, despite the temporary closure of these facilities. We apologize for the inconvenience.
- While the Family History Library is closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, the staff are working remotely and may not have access to the physical resources located in the Library for your research strategy session.
- Appointments may be canceled at any time in the event of unexpected conflicts or sickness. In the event of a cancellation, you will be contacted via email with an option to reschedule.
- We reserve the right to refuse service at any time.
To Book Your Research Strategy Session
- Click on the blue Book your Virtual Research Strategy Session button below.
- Select your desired area of research from the list on the bookings page.
- Select your research strategy session type. We only offer strategy sessions for countries listed on the booking page. Please note that research strategy sessions are primarily organized by modern country boundaries, rather than historical jurisdictions. Choose the country in which your ancestor's town is currently located.
- Select a day and time for your meeting. Be sure to double check that the time zone is correct.
- Fill in the requested information. Keep in mind the more details you provide, the better your research specialist will be able to serve you.
While on the booking site, if you need to go back to a previous page, do not use the back arrow in your browser; instead click on Change Selection located in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.
Preparing for and Accessing Your Research Strategy Session
- You will receive a confirmation email upon booking. In some cases, it may take several minutes for you to receive your email. If you do not receive an email, try checking your spam or promotions folder. Please read the email carefully and take note of the following information:
- The confirmation email contains important details about your research strategy session, a calendar invite, and a link to your Zoom meeting.
- You will also receive reminder email(s), prior to your meeting. Reminder emails also contain a link to your Zoom meeting.
At the time of your appointment:
- Open your confirmation or reminder email.
- Scroll down to the Booking Details section.
- Under the Virtual Meeting Location heading, click on the Zoom hyperlink.
- A new tab will open up in your browser. If you have the Zoom desktop application installed, you will be prompted to open the meeting in the application.
- If asked for a passcode, return to your confirmation or reminder email and copy and paste the passcode. The passcode is found directly below the Zoom link.
- If you join before the host does, please wait patiently for the host to admit you to the meeting.
- Once you have been admitted, select your video and audio settings. You do not need to enable video, but be sure to unmute yourself.
If you are new to Zoom, you may wish to explore the Zoom Help Center or Zoom Frequently Asked Questions to prepare for your research strategy session. If you encounter any difficulties joining your research strategy session on Zoom, try checking out Zoom Troubleshooting.
Additional Research and Translation Help
For additional assistance with research or document translation help, check out the FamilySearch Community, which consists of people who wish to collaborate and help one another find answers. The Community allows you to ask research questions, upload documents, get help with translations, participate in discussions, discover new resources, or learn about upcoming webinars and events. Many users receive responses to their questions within three days. Learn how to use the Community by watching this short, 5-minute video. You may also want to check out FamilySearch Genealogy Research Groups to find a Community or alternate Facebook group relevant to your ancestor's locality.