Once upon a time, a young lady came seeking help for doing her genealogy. Having never used FamilySearch before, I took her aside and showed her the basics. Unlike most people I have helped, her story takes an unusual twist—she had success within two days. Since the LDS Church preaches the need to spiritually bind our families together through temple work, her ability to find several names for the temple in one sitting is phenomenal.
The process was simple. She already had her LDS account set up so we went straight to work, logging into FamilySearch FamilyTree to navigate her tree. When we encountered a green arrow, we investigated. The green arrow means a name is ready to submit to the temple, but we needed to takes some steps before clicking on that green arrow: was this person’s information correct? Were they connected to the right family members? And most importantly, was their work already done?
Looking through census records and well-researched Findagrave.com profiles, we verified their vital information and family connections. All were cleared. Next, we checked the system for duplicates to make sure there were no repeated individuals floating around. After we merged a semi-completed tree to my friend’s, that is when the floodgates opened. The children of her something-great grandparents were missing information on their own families!
Within thirty to forty minutes, we dug up the names for several new individuals who were not yet in the system, providing new names for my friend to take to the temple. What were the best things about this experience? A young lady unaccustomed to genealogy work was able to put a whole family together: the parents, the children, and the children-in-law. She was able to experience the thrill of researching information and learning new things about these people related to her. The crème-de-la-crème was that she did it all herself, with me only supervising research and website use. She is officially a genealogist.
One does not have to be incredibly gifted with research or technology to do family history. If you are wanting to get started, do it with a buddy or a relative, visit a family history center, or even try it on your own to see what you can do if you are adept with technology already. A lot can happen in one sitting. If you hit bricks walls, don’t give up—there are people out there who can help you. Your Family Need You!