Celebrate October as “Family History Month” with ideas found on The Family History Guide Activities Page

Welcome to October – “Family History Month!” Celebrate with family history activities for families, singles, youth, and children found on The Family History Guide Activities Page.  Here you can check out fun ideas to connect with living family members, document and preserve the past, learn about your ancestors, make your own family history, and so much more. Have a look at the suggestions listed on The Family History Guide Youth Page to “make family history,” and get ready to create some wonderful memories! According to the production team of the Make History Website, making family history is two-fold: 1) Make something new that documents, creates, or contributes to your family history, and 2) Make something of yourself that enhances or contributes to your family legacy. This website features a myriad of ideas including a challenge to make home movies:  “Home movies offer a unique way of preserving the past, unlike any other medium. Seeing who we were, what we looked like, how we talked, how we acted, Continue reading “Celebrate October as “Family History Month” with ideas found on The Family History Guide Activities Page”

Announcing Our New Director of Training

Please join me in welcoming Melanie Bosselman as the new Director of Training for The Family History Guide Association. Melanie has been with the Association for over six months in a project management role, and we are excited to enlist her talents to help our global training efforts expand and improve. Melanie is currently also the Training Coordinator for the Cheyenne Wyoming Family History Center.

One of her key assignments will be to build our new Regional Trainer program, which will help carry The Family History Guide into more classrooms, centers, and homes around the world. She will also help with the enhancement of the content and materials in the Training section of the website.

Melanie’s new assignment is effective immediately, and we look forward to her being a key part of the exciting new phase of training with The Family History Guide.


Bob Taylor
CEO / Development Director

The Family History Guide Association

Fun with games and apps (links are in The Family History Guide Children’s Section)

 Along with a myriad of activity ideas and resources, The Family History Guide Children’s Section includes links to family history apps and games to give children an alternative to some that are less productive and educational. They are so much fun and a great way to help kids get interested in family history. A few of our grandchildren were playing a game called Geneopardy and discovering all kinds of interesting facts about their ancestors who are on our FamilySearch family tree. Their great-grandfather, Orson Clark, was one name that came up often. The boys were enjoying learning about his life and family as they sought for the correct answers to the questions that were presented. Later on, the boys were playing a game called Crokinole (a dexterity board game similar to Carrom) and having a Continue reading “Fun with games and apps (links are in The Family History Guide Children’s Section)”

Family History Training: A Different Approach

Do either of these questions seem familiar?

  • “I need to teach a class on <xyz family history topic> for the first time. Should I borrow Tom’s slide deck and change it around, or should I make my own? I only have a few days to prepare, and there are handouts to print, files to proofread and upload …”
  • “I like attending family history classes, but I often wonder what to do next, after the class is over. And I wish I could remember what the instructor said in between those PowerPoint bullets …”

This is how family history training has been done for a very long time – it’s labor-intensive and prone to learning gaps. Is there another way? Continue reading “Family History Training: A Different Approach”

Use The Family History Guide to learn about Web Indexing and check out this upcoming worldwide event

Indexing makes records searchable online and is something most everyone can do. Each indexed record is a gift to someone, somewhere -allowing him or her to learn about and gather ancestors into the family tree. Indexing is not hard to do (you can select the level of difficulty) and it is so much fun! The Family History Guide offers the newest information and detailed “how-to” help for indexing.  See FamilySearch (FS) Project 5 to find out how to get started, manage batches, and set goals. One goal you might want to consider with your friends and family is to participate in the WORLDWIDE INDEXING EVENT 2017 to be held October 20-22.

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Learning About Mobile Devices & Apps

Mobile devices are used quite extensively for genealogy and family history now and it is projected, it will be even more so going forward. If you’d like to know more about doing family history “on the go” check out The Family History Guide, Project 7: Technology, Goal 2: Smart Phones and Tablets.

There you will find a great deal of general and specific information about how to work on your family history when you are away from your desktop or laptop computer. Of course all the big genealogy websites like Ancestry, MyHeritage, Findmypast, etc., have mobile apps and many companies like Find-A-Grave, Billion Graves, Ancestral Quest, etc., have apps too. The FamilySearch website also has more that 124 apps you can use if you have a free account. You can access them from the bottom of their homepage (click Apps). I saw this great little video this morning about FamilySearch apps on your smart phone.

I recently watched a BYU Library YouTube video by James Tanner speaking about Google Docs and how it can be used as a tool to eliminate the long lines of people waiting outside the Salt Lake Family History Library in the mornings. He said he wonders what others must think, as they see all these people toting their suitcases. To those unfamiliar with genealogists, it must look like they are moving into the Library.

How nice to unburden ourselves of all the paper with these wonderful mobile devices and apps. With so much mobility and many ways to store what we need electronically, maybe someday we won’t have to worry about tripping over rolling suitcases full of paper at places like RootsTech anymore!

October is Family History Month – plan to make it memorable with The Family History Guide

In 2001, Congress first passed a resolution introduced by Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah to make October “Family History Month.” Senator Hatch felt that in searching for our roots, we come closer together as a human family. I think we would all agree, and add that we also come closer together in our individual families. See how The Family History Guide can help you and your family fill October with activities to remember. You will find ideas for any aspect of family history from research to making your own history – and everything in between. Start at the Home Page. Here you will find the Quick Start Menu (see below) with six categories from which to choose activities best suited for your family history celebration next month – and every month!


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The Family History Guide and “Just In Time Learning”

Being a California girl, I love the redwood trees along our coastline. I love how small they make me feel as we walk next to them. There is something so awesome and reverent about them. I’ve noticed people often whisper in places like Muir Woods, if they talk at all.

Sometimes I feel exactly like that when I realize how much I do not know about Family History and Genealogy. Sometimes I feel that same way when I am surrounded by brilliant people that are like those tall redwoods. It seems that no matter how hard I try, there is often something that stops me in my tracks and I have to go searching for that missing piece to the current puzzle. There is often that big void in my knowledge that stops me from going forward. If you have read my posts before, you know I call it My Swiss Cheese brain.

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The Family History Guide and Boy Scouts Of America

Some of you may have read the title of this post and said, “What does The Family History Guide have to do with BSA?” Well, the answer is a lot actually.

The Boy Scouts of America have a Merit Badge for Genealogy.  Shortly after we began working at the Family Search Library in 2011, my husband, Jim, was asked to teach Scouts and their families, in our area, how to fulfill the requirements for the boys to earn this badge. There are several things to do to receive the badge and one of them requires they visit and learn about a library where family records can be found.

The Family History Guide is our go to place for genealogy, including the Genealogy Merit Badge.  Go to the Homepage of the Family History Guide.   Click on the Misc. The drop-down menu includes the BSA option:  It opens to the page where the requirements are shared with steps for Scouts do to to achieve this Badge.

*There is also so much more in this BSA option in the way of choices and learning about the Scout program in  general.  See it here.

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Successful and Fun Cousin Collaboration with Help from The Family History Guide

At age 83, my mom is one of the oldest cousins on her mother’s maternal line, and so she is one of the few who can remember things that happened even before younger cousins were born. In this photo, she is the girl holding the two baby cousins on my great grandfather’s front porch. To capture and record stories from the past (before it’s too late), we often get together with some of the cousins in this group to look through and scan photos, read and share memories and write stories. Sometimes we have three or four generations gathered around the table. I love these moments.

Continue reading “Successful and Fun Cousin Collaboration with Help from The Family History Guide”