What’s New in the Online Tracker

The free Online Tracker for The Family History Guide has been up and running for about 7 months, and it now has over 1,100 registered users. (It’s the only part of The Family History Guide that requires a username and password; the rest of the site does not.) With the Online Tracker, or “OLT” as we sometimes call it, you can keep track of your notes and progress in The Family History Guide in a secure online database.

Today we updated the OLT in a number of ways to help your user experience be even better. Here’s a list of the new enhancements, going from top to bottom of the screen:

Continue reading “What’s New in the Online Tracker”

Context Switching and Family History: From Foe to Friend

I am proud to say that I can walk and chew gum at the same time! I’ve done it so often that I’m quite confident in my skills. When the tasks gets more complicated than that, however, I don’t always do so well.

Many of us consider ourselves true multi-taskers, but there are some trade-offs there, especially when it comes to doing family history. In this article I’ll discuss some myths and facts about multi-tasking and how they relate to a potential roadblock to your progress: context switching.

Continue reading “Context Switching and Family History: From Foe to Friend”

Happiness is … an Amazon Smile

Along with the roll-out of the new Home page and the new menu system for The Family History Guide, we also updated the footer section for each page.  Here’s what it looks like now:

Notice that at the very bottom of the page there is a new tile for using the Amazon Smile program with The Family History Guide.

Continue reading “Happiness is … an Amazon Smile”

New Look for the Home Page and Menus

We are excited to announce a new, streamlined look to our Home page at The Family History Guide. This also includes a tiered menu system that gives easier access to a number of features across the site. Here’s a step-by-step walk-through that demonstrates the new additions.

Home Page Design

The first thing you’ll notice is that the new design relies on simple picture tiles and bullets – you can find what you want without reading sentences. The tiles and bullets are arranged by category, each linked to the appropriate topic:

Just below the tiles is the “reading box” with text that explains more about website and The Family History Guide Association. Notice that we have added our Mission Statement here as well.


The lower section of the Home page is the footer, and that has been redesigned to include our new RootsTech Exhibitor badge, as well as a new Amazon Smile tile (more about that in an upcoming blog).


Some of our users have requested that we spell out the Learning Path / Partner abbreviations in the menu (FamilySearch instead of FS, Ancestry instead of AN, etc.) That, plus the need to accommodate more menu items as the site grows, led us to a tiered menu system – there are now two rows of drop-down menu items in the upper right:

Here are a few things that have changed:

  • To get back to the Home page, click the logo (upper left) for The Family History Guide.
  • The Learning Paths are now spelled out.
  • We added Activities, Tracker, Vault, and LDS as a new drop-down menus. These were previously in the “More” menu, which has been removed.
  • The Media/Social menu has links to our Blog, Facebook, and Twitter pages, as well as to the brochures, flyers, and videos in The Family History Guide.
  • We added the Countries menu, with links to the U.S., Canada, England, and major regions (British Isles, Scandinavia, Asia/Pacific, etc.) plus the Ethnic groups. The previous Countries links at the bottom of the Partner pages have been removed.
  • Most abbreviations in previous menus have now been spelled out.

One more important note: the new menus, as well as the updated footer, are now included on each page of The Family History Guide site. No matter where you are, you’ll have the easy-to-use, comprehensive menu system at your command.

We hope you enjoy the new look and feel of the Home page and menus. Try them out at www.thefhguide.com. You can give us feedback at info@thefhguide.com.

Welcome to Scott Anderson, Outreach/Public Relations Director

We’re proud to announce that Scott Anderson has joined our team at The Family History Guide Association as Outreach/Public Relations Director. He has been with us less than a month but already has been instrumental in getting the wheels turning for some exciting opportunities for the Association and The Family History Guide.

Scott Anderson attained a BA degree from the University of Utah in Psychology, a Master’s degree in Counseling and Guidance and a PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy both from BYU. He taught in the LDS Church Education System beginning in 1972, with the majority of his career as a faculty member at the Orem Institute of Religion. He is a published author and lectures for BYU Education Weeks, Especially for Youth, and various other venues, including the Governor’s Conference On Families and the Utah Freedom Academy. Dr. Anderson recently retired from working as a therapist at Suncrest Counseling Center. He enjoys home improvement projects, family history, humanitarian service, and had a great time running a marathon with his daughter. He and his wife, Angelle, who is the Family Activities Coordinator for The Family History Guide Association, reside in Bluffdale, Utah.

Welcome, Scott!

What is the Benefit of Facebook for Family History and Genealogy?

These past couple of months I have had lots of questions about what social media has to do with family history and genealogy.  Most people can name several social media platforms but don’t recognize that there are hundreds and hundreds of Social Media platforms.  In the broadest sense of the definition, social media is any platform that offers interaction with other users through comments, replies and even revision.  A couple you may not have thought of as social media are YouTube and Wikipedia. Most of us think of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and blogs.

In this realm of social media, Facebook is the #1  platform in the world right now.  According to their stats, over 2 billion users sign on to Facebook monthly and over 1 billion check in daily.  Facebook is so much more than simply a place to chat with people.   With that kind of visibility we need to think about how we can use Facebook as more than a news feed for updates on friends.  We can ask ourselves how can I use this to go beyond the usual and ordinary. One way is to use Facebook as a search engine.

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Serving a side dish of family history for Thanksgiving Dinner

The Family History Guide Activities Section makes it easy to include family history fun in your Thanksgiving celebration. New activities you choose to do this year just may become traditions that make Thanksgiving day more fun, meaningful, and memorable for years to come.  Traditions are unique and varied wherever and whenever you find families celebrating a day of gratitude. What comes to your mind at the mention of this particular holiday? Is it imagining the luscious aroma of the over-stuffed turkey slowly roasting in the oven or the vision of over-stuffed family members lounging on the couch, watching a football game after the feast?

Perhaps your family doesn’t have a tradition of watching football, but they participate in other entertaining family activities year after year. My husband’s family has a tradition of some members always crawling behind a couch after dinner and moaning out loud from the discomfort of over-eating! I was a bit surprised when my mother-in-law and her sister did that the first Thanksgiving I spent with them

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The Family History Guide at Rootstech 2018

The Family History Guide Association is delighted to participate in Rootstech 2018! In addition to having a booth in the Expo Hall all four days, our vice-president and executive director, Bob Ives, will be presenting Introduction to The Family History Guide on Friday, March 2nd at 3 pm.


Attendees will be able to successfully navigate the free The Family History Guide website (www.thefhguide.com) to get an introduction to family history, and to accelerate their learning and progress with FamilySearch, Ancestry, MyHeritage, and Findmypast. Objectives that will be covered Continue reading “The Family History Guide at Rootstech 2018”

The Family History Guide Will Help You Find Your Way

Editor’s Note: The following article is republished from the Family History Newsletter of the Ogden FamilySearch Library. Thanks to Elder and Sister Erickson!

Do you like family history, but feel a little overwhelmed by the fire hose of information that is out on the Internet? Then you’ll like the Family History Guide, a fairly new learning, resource, and training center for genealogy.

Bob Ives, the Family History Guide Association’s vice president and executive director, spoke at the Ogden FamilySearch Library Saturday, October 21, 2017 to a large crowd. He said the Family History Continue reading “The Family History Guide Will Help You Find Your Way”

Family History Activities – “I do and I understand”

Much has been written about the benefits of helping children and youth connect to their ancestors through family history activities. For example, research published in Emory University’s Journal of Family Life showed that children and teens who know stories about relatives who came before them show higher levels of emotional well-being and connection –  “Family stories provide a sense of identity through time, and help children understand who they are in the world.”     Finding fun, relevant activities to fit the needs of your family is easy and convenient with the Family Activities Section of the Family History Guide at your fingertips! So many fun ideas from which to choose and each can bless your family in unique ways. Continue reading “Family History Activities – “I do and I understand””