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Need Some Help - Use a Video Tutor

Everyone needs some instruction when either learning a new skill, activity or trying to advance their knowledge.  In doing your own family history; learning how and what are the best methods is also very important.  There are numerous books, online sites and classes where genealogical skills can be perfected.  Most of the local genealogical societies and the Family History Centers (run by the Church of the Latter-Day Saints) across the country will also offer classes or special sessions open to the public where research sources and how-to methods are provided.

One excellent source of learning techniques in family search is offered by  It is in the ‘Learning’ section of the online site under ‘Videos’.  Here the Chief Family Historian for, Megan Smolenyak, presents a series of videos on family research. She speaks in everyday language and covers the keys to successful family research.  You view the videos right on your computer at home any time. You also do not need to be a paid subscriber to

Megan Smolenyak, also wrote the companion book; “Who Do You Think You Are? The Essential Guide” for the popular NBC prime time show “Who Do You Think You Are?” which begins its 3rd season in early 2012.

With her years of experience she can present to the viewer of the videos a variety of information and lessons to make your own research more successful.  For the beginner she explains the basic tools that are necessary to start building a family tree.  There is a whole category just on ‘Getting Started’ where she covers about interviewing relatives, why it is important to preserve the family history and its enormous benefits.

In the category of ‘Family Trees’ Megan shares how to organize your time to assist your research. A section titled; ‘Research Challenges’ offers some very practical advice in overcoming any ‘brick walls’ in looking for an elusive ancestor.  The family myths and legends is an important aspect to know what to watch out for and how to eventually learn the truth. Techniques when it comes to given and surname spellings and their variations are very useful to know.

A category on ‘Information Sources’ explains about census and military records. Megan also covers how necessary it is to keep records and cite all your sources where information was gathered.

There are additional videos, a total of 24 on the site to offer advice from an expert in the genealogical field. Got a few minutes, use them to improve your sleuthing skills.

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