Genealogy from the perspective of a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon, LDS)

Friday, November 15, 2013

Family History Centers

One of the most valuable resources for finding your family history is a visit to a Family History Center (now frequently called FamilySearch Centers) FamilySearch has 4,600 local facilities in 126 countries where anyone can access genealogical records and receive personal assistance with their family history. These centers include the world-famous Family History Library in Salt Lake City, large regional facilities in places like Mesa, Arizona, and Los Angeles, California, and smaller centers that are usually found inside Latter-day Saint meetinghouses.

I have been frequently surprised at how few of the genealogists in the Metropolitan Phoenix Area have never visited the Mesa, Arizona FamilySearch Library. All family history centers are free and open to the public and staffed by knowledgeable volunteers. Each facility offers both novices and experienced family historians the tools and resources to learn about their ancestors. There are even a substantial percentage of the Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who have never stepped inside a Family History Center.

The Family History Center locator is under the "Get Help" link on the Startup Page. Here is another screenshot showing the location of the link:

Just a couple of suggestions; call ahead to make sure of the operating hours and ask if someone will be there to help you in the area you are researching. Family History Centers are staffed by volunteers and the times of operation may vary. Not all of the volunteers are equally familiar with all the different areas of research and although there may be someone particularly qualified in your area, they may only work certain hours during the week or month.

Many of the Family History Centers have pages in the FamilySearch Research Wiki. There are also a few of them, such as the Mesa FamilySearch Library, that have their own websites.

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