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

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Online Training on

Two days ago, one of the people attending a class I taught at the Mesa FamilySearch Library commented that I should do a video of exactly how to put photos onto giving all the steps. I had just shown him how to do this very carefully going through each step, so I was a little surprised by the comment. He had recently been called as a Family History Consultant and was looking for some help with training.

That same day, I received a copy of a blog post from FamilySearch entitled "FamilySearch Online Training is a Click Away." Evidently, I get email notification of these blog posts before they actually go onto the website because when I try to view the post online, I get an error message but later, sometimes as long as a week or so, they show up online. Steve Anderson of FamilySearch gives us a list of links to FamilySearch online training:
Some of our most useful and popular training has been put online for you to use quickly and easily. Links to this training are found below. If you click on any of the training items and they don’t appear, check to make sure that your popup blocker isn’t the reason. If it is, go into popup options and allow FamilySearch popups to appear.
  • The Training Material link will take you to a rich menu of training options. Simply click on the link of the item you want to use.
  • The FamilySearch Family Tree Curriculum link will take you to a whole selection of training content. It provides training on how to use a computer mouse, basic beginner training, intermediate training, advanced training and the option to view training in Spanish.
  • The Family Tree Quick Start Guide is a 7 page PDF File explaining how to quickly and easily get into and use some of the most basic and popular features of Family Tree.
  • The Family Tree Reference Manual is a 204 page PDF file that provides extensive in-depth coverage on all features of the Family Tree. Please note that about 5% of this manual is already out of date. Within the next several months this manual will be redesigned and posted in smaller sections that will allow for faster and easier updates.
  • The FamilySearch Learning Center is a library of several hundred classes and video presentations that teach you how to use various FamilySearch features as well as how to do research on a wide variety of genealogical topics.
  • The FamilySearch Research Wiki is a collection of over 76,000 research article covering some area of genealogy and family history research. These articles are written and updated by experts from around the world.
It is nice that the patron at the Mesa FamilySearch Library came for some help and is attending classes, but it is interesting that he is apparently unaware of the existing online training. A while ago, I got a comment on a post on this blog correcting me about how "Family History Consultants" function in the Ward. The commentator cited the Handbook 2 and the Leader's Guide to Temple and Family History Work. The pertinent part stated:
High priests group leaders have the primary responsibility to coordinate the ward council’s efforts to encourage and enable temple and family history work in the ward.
The Guide, at page 19, goes on to state:
The high priests group leader directs the work of family history consultants as he:
  • Recommends members to be called and set apart as family history consultants, as requested by the bishopric.
  • Works with the bishopric to ensure that enough consultants are called to meet the needs of the ward.
  • Provides assignments to consultants, including assignments to work with certain ward members.
  • Ensures that consultants are properly prepared to perform their callings and makes them aware of the training resources at
When this Family History Consultant was called, was he made aware of the training resources at

I also wonder where are the other hundreds of Family History Consultants in the Stakes here in Mesa? How many of them are aware of the Online Training available?


  1. James, I've learned that our Consultants don't read very much about anything online. I encourage them to read the FamilySearch Blog. I email them with new posts on that blog, I post the blog posts on a Facebook page I created for our Family History Center, and I post to a blog I created specifically for our Consultants. And yet when we have our monthly training meetings, they are totally unaware of anything that's going on at FamilySearch. We keep trying. We're having another meeting in a few days and will go over it all again! But I believe one of our failings as that we don't sit down with them individually when they are called and take time to go over everything they need to learn, practice and become proficient at. They're called, given a time slot to staff the Family History Center and then prodded to help Ward members. We just keep struggling along to get it right.

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