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Family Search

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Family Search is a long time and highly used genealogical web site developed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Church, based out of Utah. Some of the outstanding research databases include International Genealogical Index, the Ancestral File, the Family History Library Catalog, plus the thousands of web site submissions by individuals. There are user mailing lists, online ordering of research materials from the Family History Library and the opportunity to preserve one's own family history research online.

The objective of the Family Search is to assist anyone in learning and connecting with their ancestors. The decades of collecting, organizing, microfilming and producing in a digital format have created a vast treasure chest of documents, records, indexes, charts and manifests that cover a complete range of divergent cultures, religions, and ethnic groups across the world.

The Family Search site has several methods to approach the research. One can go over the long listing of U. S. states, of provinces and territories of numerous nations. Any one can research by a specific subject or by a document type. If researching just the Almanacs for Italy, those are listed under subject. With using document type, a researcher would find what information were requested in U. S. and U.K. census documents, as well as pedigree charts available for anyone to complete for their own tree.

In searching by full name, there is available the census records, International Genealogical Index, Ancestral File, Pedigree Resource File, U. S. Social Security Death Index, Vital Records Index as well as the family history web sites submitted by individuals. This search for ancestors using all the major databases covers all the world countries and regions. The search engine is easy to navigate and then to call up any individual records.

The newest addition to Family Search is their ‘Record Search.’ Some 453 regions are included across the globe. The following are some examples of what can be located are listed. In Canada, the births and death records along with census records are available. For Mexico, there are baptisms, deaths and marriage records which include civil registrations and Roman Catholic Church records. In Russia, are records for births, marriage and deaths from the 18th century into the early 20th century. For Panama, records include baptism, marriages and deaths from the 1700s to 1950.

On the web site is a listing of the main Library’s catalog, so that any microfilm, microfiche or public document at the Library in Salt Lake City, Utah can be loaned to a person’s local Family History Center.

A great addition to the site has been the digital family history collections which can be downloaded and read on a person's own computer using Adobe Reader. Using the search engine with the family history achieves, a surname is written in and a listing appears of all books, journals, booklets and family histories written and located in the collection. The title of the work and author are shown and a description of the written material along with a listing of all surnames. Once a selection is made, just click on it for access to read the material in its entirely.

The genealogical site offers a link to hundreds of other online web sites that can assist a researchers to the Library of Congress, the New England Historical Genealogical Society, the Public Record Office of England and to Ellis Island Records. In addition, there are general web sites to provide assistance in legal documents, nobility, military, business and land records. Besides the listing and the links a search engine is available to help locate other sources on the Internet.

Offered is the new online classes covering countless subjects and topics. With one click a video can be viewed on a selected subject with complete explanations and the showing examples. Most video lessons run 20 to 30 minutes and can be replayed as many times as necessary. A few of the topics covered are ‘Reading Russian Names-Dates-Key Words,’ ‘Doing Polish Research,’ ‘Immigration during Irish Famine,’ ‘English Census Records,’ ‘Using Time Lines,’ and ‘Tips for Genealogy Research.’

Across the United States many genealogical conferences with guest speakers are held year-round. Many of the classes and programs are also on video and can be viewed using the Family Search site. The heading is ‘Genealogical Presentations Online’ and a full listing of the topics and where it took place are there. Click on the subject of interest to view the full presentation.

Family Search has special resources on African-American families, Jewish families, Hispanic families (plus some are done in Spanish).

Offered are the Personal Ancestral File (PAF), a family history software program to collect, organize and share family history. Also, a selection of family tree charts in different styles and colors are available to download.

All the databases, charts, online classes, resources, advice and information are provided free to anyone at any time through the Family Search web site. Making it totally free they have provided the opportunity for everyone to work on their ancestry.

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