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”

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 ( 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””

Case Studies: Learning from the Best

One of the unique features of The Family History Guide is that it brings some of the best tools for family history research into one easy-to-use location. Learning from the best is something that people have done for ages: if you want to become a great painter or musician, you study their works to help you develop your own style. Certain things about what they do and how they do it will resonate with you, and you’ll adapt and absorb them into your own approach.

So why would it be any different in learning essential genealogy skills? Let’s see where we can find these skills, using The Family History Guide as our base for exploration.

Continue reading “Case Studies: Learning from the Best”

You are invited to the webinar “Family History Activities With The Family History Guide” presented by Bob Taylor

This coming week, Bob Taylor, CEO of The Family History Guide Association, will present a webinar featuring The Family History Guide Activities Section. He will discuss how using this invaluable resource will help families, singles, youth, and children to experience the joys of family history activities.  Family history activities are an integral ingredient in fulfilling the mission statement of The Family History Guide “To greatly increase the number of people actively involved in family history worldwide, and to make everyone’s family history journey easier, more efficient, and more enjoyable.”

The BYU FAMILY HISTORY LIBRARY hosts a series of online webinars – Continue reading “You are invited to the webinar “Family History Activities With The Family History Guide” presented by Bob Taylor”

Starting Your Research With What you Already Know

Most of us want to know about our immigrant ancestor, the one who came across a border or crossed an ocean to come to America.  Unless you are a first generation immigrant, you have to work with United States (or the country of your birth) records first.  Continue reading “Starting Your Research With What you Already Know”

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.

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

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!