Using Family Search


A great place to begin your genealogical
research is with the free Web database,
FamilySearch.org. This site contains digitized census, birth, baptism, marriage, death, and
some immigration records from the United
States and other countries. Often, you can view an image of an original document, such as a
census record, providing you with a quality copy
of an original, primary source document. Under the SEARCH tab, you’ll see that in addition to
records, you can search GENEALOGIES that
other users have submitted, the Family Search Library CATALOG of online materials,
microforms, and books, many of which can be
borrowed from local Family Search Centers, and a collection of over 150,000 digitized genealogy
and family history books from a select group of
top-notch genealogical libraries. Additionally, the WIKI provides you with tips on searching and
where to look for certain types of records. For
this demonstration, I’m going to search the RECORDS. When searching for ancestors,
enter names as you know them to be spelled.
Leaving this little check-box unchecked, will ask the database to look for alternate spellings,
which are common in genealogical research.
Simply click SEARCH or press the ENTER KEY to run your search. Scan for your ancestor on
the Results List. You can view the record by
clicking on the name. Be sure to scroll down to see all the information provided, including the
microfilm roll number and title of the series, so
that you can document your source properly. We are currently viewing a United States
Census from 1940, provided by National
Archives and Records Administration, We are currently viewing a United States
Census from 1940, provided by National
Archives and Records Administration, publication T627, Microfilm Roll # 545. To return
to the RESULTS LIST, click SEARCH RESULTS
at the top of the screen. Notice the camera publication T627, Microfilm Roll # 545. To return
to the RESULTS LIST, click SEARCH RESULTS
at the top of the screen. Notice the camera image in the far right column. Clicking on that
displays a digitized image of the original,
primary record. Click the Plus Sign to enlarge the record so that you can find your ancestor on
it. You can just grab it and pull it up or down to
locate the person you are seeking. Click the Back Arrow of your browser to return to the
results list. For this search, I came up with over
one million results. There are many ways to narrow your search so that you have fewer
results and have a better chance of finding the
exact person you are looking for. You can quickly limit your search by collection,
birthplace, and more by clicking Refine Your
Search in the upper left-hand corner and choosing from this list. Limiting it to a certain
collection, for instance, such as a specific
United States Census, can be very helpful. To close this option, click again on Refine Your
Search, or on Records. You can also search
with a life event, such as birth, marriage, death, and so on. Death records sometimes provide the
maiden name of the deceased person’s mother,
a fact that can be difficult to locate. And in addition to searching on a life event, you can
narrow your search by selecting spouse or
parents’ names to add, or some other person who is connected to your ancestor. Start with a
basic, general search and refine it from there.
Each ancestor requires unique search strategies. Good Luck!

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