Just Getting Started?
If you’re just beginning to work on your family history, please do not get overwhelmed! There is a wealth of resources and knowledge available, yet the only important thing is to take it one name, one family, one ordinance at a time.
We’ve gathered tools to get you started if you’re new to family history, as well as many ideas for those who are seasoned researchers.
The most important thing is to allow yourself to feel the Spirit of Elijah and acknowledge the blessings that flow to you and your family as you participate in this sacred work. There is no need to rush. Seek the help you need, take the time you need, and you will find that the blessings (and information) will flow.
Some printable forms you can use to get started:
- Four Generation Chart: This chart is the most important thing you’ll need. It has space for all of the vital information, including temple ordinances. You can use this as a worksheet to easily see what information you have, as well as what you still need. This information will then be entered into your family tree on FamilySearch.org.
- Find Your Family Names: A First-time Guide: This handy guide is a two-page flow chart that leads you through the process of finding your family and taking them to the temple. It has paths for those who have no names, some names, and many names in their charts right now.
- We’ve gathered some ideas for beginners, so peruse these articles to get some ideas for launching into family history.
- We’ve created a short guide for Family History Resource Ideas that has ideas for everyone from beginners to pros.
- Who’s Your Cousin? This explains how to understand cousin relationships, and it includes a handy chart to use to discover exactly how you are related to your family members.
- Get inspired! Watch or read Elder and Sister Nelson’s talk on the importance of family history. It’s truly wonderful and well worth your time.
FamilySearch.org is where the magic happens.
It’s where we take the crucial, essential step from simply gathering information to uniting families forever in sacred temples. To help you with that, explore these resources:
- Getting started with Family Search (includes tutorial videos)
- This free webinar from Legacy Family Tree is specifically for beginners to help them get started with Family Search.
- What do all of those icons mean? This shares information on using the research helps on FamilySearch, with an explanation of the colored icons that indicate what you need to do next.
- If you have a FamilySearch account but have not added your LDS membership number to it, you can find directions for doing that here.
- Ready to go beyond FamilySearch? We’ve created a guide to the partner sites that offer free membership to members of the Church.
Are you someone who’s been doing family history for a long time?
If you’ve got your four-generation chart completed with all available ordinances done, your role in the challenge has two possibilities:
- Help others in your ward to find the names and information about their ancestors in the first four generations and get the information entered into the family tree.
- Add to your own family tree through descendency research for people born in the 1800s and take those names to the temple.
- Watch this PowerPoint presentation with videos just for you.
Here are some resources for next steps:
- Displaying your family tree: We created this short guide to share ways you can display your family history in your home. You don’t necessarily need experience to use these ideas, but you will need some family pictures and your chart.
- Your tree is full. Now what? We created this list for those of you who have “full” trees. What can you do next?
- Church Temple and Family History Consultant Resource Page: The Church’s resources for Temple and Family History Consultants includes great information for those who are teaching others to find their families, even if it’s not your calling.
- If you enjoy the techy side of things or are a social media user, we’ve created a guide for applying it to family history. Whether you prefer Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest, this short guide has you covered.
- We’ve created a short guide for preserving family traditions, an important part of family history.
We’re focused on helping wards as well as individual members.
- Family History: Get Started Now: This link will take you to the ordering page for the pamphlet. Other materials are available, so choose those you feel will best meet the needs of your members, keeping in mind varying levels of access to technology and comfort with family history.
- A Church printable that outlines the fundamental paths for members of different levels is also available.
- Access the entire file of resources, including videos. This includes:
- Implementation Ideas for Wards
- PowerPoint presentation with videos for the finders/teachers (those with completed charts)
- PowerPoint presentation with videos for the youth
- PowerPoint presentation with videos for ward councils
- Short presentation for sharing in ward bulletins, on social media, or in other communication channels found at bit.ly/FH17-ppt-intro.
- A PowerPoint with embedded video for classes, available at bit.ly/FH17-ppt-classes with the script available at bit.ly/FH17-script. This is designed to be a full class presentation, guided by a leader.
- Workshop plan for holding a hands-on workshop
Please email us at info_at_ldsteach.org for help or requests for resources.