7 Ways to Get Started in Family History

7 Ways to Get Started in Family History

You may be among the many members of the Church who have made a resolution this year to “do more family history.” Consider FamilySearch.org your personal family history trainer. Here are 7 simple exercises that will get you on your way to becoming a family history hero.

1. See what’s been done—Depending on how long your family has been in the Church, you may have a pretty full tree that goes back many generations. Take a minute to navigate FamilySearch Family Tree to get to know your ancestors’ names. Click on Memories at the top of the screen to see what photos and stories have been added by other family. To see a fan chart of your tree, or to download a printable copy, click on Fan in the subnavigation, and then click the print icon at the top right.

1. See what’s been done—
print icon
2. Plant your tree —If you are newer to the Church, or if your family has not done a lot of family history in the past, your tree may be a bit less full. Never fear!  It is simple to start a tree using the Family Tree wizard . Enter in all the information you know, and see what hints FamilySearch has for you. You can also contact parents, grandparents, or other family members to get some basic information to fill out your tree. Before you know it, you’ll be off and running.
2. Plant your tree

3. Plan a family history family home evening—Add a historical twist to your next family home evening. Family history activities are a great way to teach children about their heritage and can create a closeness with ancestors that will bless lives. Share ancestor photos and stories, discuss your ethnic origins, or use an old family recipe to make a treat. In addition to the tools on FamilySearch, there are lesson plans available on LDS.org as well as other partner online resources (like LDSLiving) that can help.

3. Plan a family history family home evening

4. Keep the Sabbath Day holy—Exploring your family history is one of the best ways to keep the Sabbath day holy. It can be especially helpful for parents looking for Sunday-appropriate activities for their children. Heart-turning activities that center on the strength of family members can fill the hours on a Sunday and fill your home with the spirit of Elijah. For a list of possible activities, broken out by age, see this blog post.

4. Keep the Sabbath Day holy
5. Add a photo —It’s possible you already have photos on your mobile device or computer of parents, grandparents, and so on. Use the  Family Tree mobile app  or the  Memories Gallery page  to upload your family photos. You can also use your smart phone or tablet to take photos of pictures that are laying around and upload them directly to the FamilySearch.org Family Tree. What you add will automatically be shared with your close relatives and will be preserved for future generations. Family photos are a great way to introduce children to their heritage, and the photos you find on FamilySearch can be used to customize decorations or handouts for events like holiday get-togethers or family reunions.
5. Add a photo

6. Find a temple name—Make your temple worship even more meaningful by performing ordinances for waiting ancestors. You can even extend the blessings of temple service to family by sharing ordinances through email. Learn more about how to find a name.

6. Find a temple name

7. Discover FamilySearch partner sites—As an LDS Church member, you have access to some of the largest and most valuable family history sites available, including Ancestry.com. Visit the partner sign-up page to learn more about each of the different partner sites and to sign up for your personal account. You’ll have full access to the sites from anywhere—no need to be at a family history center or other church building.

7. Discover FamilySearch partner sites

Try these 7 activities this year to jump-start your family history and to share your legacy. Not only will you keep one of your new year’s resolutions, but you will bless your family past, present, and future.