Sunday, April 13, 2014

Small and Simple Things

Simple things you can do NOW to get yourself and your family involved in family history work and thus gain access to the promised blessings that come with it.

These tips come from a class I taught a few months ago. 

1. Interview Family Members and Share Their Stories Online
There is a lot of information available online about interview relatives as well as fabulous tools to make it easier.  I encourage you to learn more.

 A few simple tips are:
•Decide who you want to interview.
•Prepare a list of questions. 
•Avoid questions that can be answered Yes or No.
•Make an appointment beforehand.
•Keep the interview to a reasonable amount of time.
•Use a digital recorder, smartphone app, or camera to record your interview
•Take notes. 
•Transcribe and share notes as a courtesy and to check accuracy. has made it easy to upload and share memories -stories and photos- online.  Be sure to check them out at

2. Take and Share Photos
This goes along with sharing stories.
Taking photos of living relatives, heirlooms, and so forth, can provide powerful experiences for future generations.  Sharing photos in your possession is an important part of preserving them.  Technology has made it really simple to do.

The photo sharing application on allows patrons to upload photos and add names, descriptions, and other information.

3. Discover Your Fan Chart
Fan charts allow you to see four+ generations at one time.  They are a helpful tool that is easy to understand that you can use when sharing your tree with fellow family members.  They also easily allow you to see holes in your family tree.

There are various places where you can get your fan chart printed.  One website that pulls your information from familysearch and creates a fan chart for you that you can print is

4. Record Your Life
Remember that telling your own story is a part of doing family history.  Keeping a record of your life is important.  Your way of capturing your own story can be as unique as you are.

5. Get Involved in Indexing
FamilySearch indexing unlocks access to the world's records by making them searchable for free at  This is a monumental effort that anyone can participate in.  Every little bit helps and we all benefit. 

Check it out at

6. Find Your Cousins
Also known as descendancy research this is the process of finding the descendants of your ancestors.  There are many benefits to doing descendancy research.  Some of these include:

•Researching forward in time can help you break down your brick walls
•Find relatives researching the same line
•Find relatives who know stories and have photos of your common ancestor
•Records are more readily available as you move forward in time

7.  Search Out Your Ancestors
Probably obvious, but always continue to research your ancestors.  Record availability is always changing and doors open every day. 

Just keep climbing...


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