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

Monday, January 2, 2017

The Family History Guide linked from

I realize that the title of this post is, at least, two ways ambiguous. This post could be about my own introduction to The Family History Guide i.e. the first time I learned about the website or this could also be my own way of introducing The Family History Guide to my readers. My intention is to talk about the program by way of introduction. If you look at the website's startup page, you can see a big, black icon labeled "Introduction." So, simply by going to the startup page of the website, you will have a good chance of finding out how the website works and why it is one of the most important developments in the genealogical research community.

The website itself contains all of the instructions about how and why to use The Family History Guide. First, watch the introductory video. Here is a screenshot of the introductory page.

If you need more help from videos, you can also visit the BYU Family History Library YouTube Channel where there are several videos about the website. Use the search field on YouTube to quickly find the videos about The Family History Guide. More videos are planned about this website in the near future so you might want to subscribe to the BYU Family History Library YouTube Channel for updates when new videos are added. Here is a good place to start:

Introduction to The Family History Guide, Version 2 - Bob Taylor

First of all, it is important to understand that The Family History Guide is free. As is explained in the Frequently Asked Questions:
There is no advertising on the website. When we link to commercial websites, it is to highlight the free resources there. Exception: we link to commercial DNA testing sites, as there are currently no sites who produce reliable DNA results for free.
 The website is not sponsored by FamilySearch® or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but there is a specific tab on the menu bar for specific LDS Topics.

One recurrent question involves the use of the program for teaching in a Ward or Stake context. This is an interesting issue. First of all, there are currently no specifically curriculum-approved materials for teaching Family History from the Church. The previously used class materials have been discontinued. But this is not a problem at all because the current program involves the following as quoted from the handout entitled, "Helping Members Participate in Temple and Family History Service" from
Provide one-on-one assistance to help individuals and families find, take, and teach.
The Family History Guide is specifically designed to assist with and support this one-on-one type of training.  As further indicated by the fact that on, the section entitled "How to Use" specifically references The Family History Guide as a tool for learning. Here is a screenshot of one of the links to The Family History Guide on that page.

The really isn't any other teaching resource readily available online for free that comes close to providing the information contained in The Family History Guide.

In the interests of disclosure, I presently serve on the Advisory Board (an unpaid, volunteer position) for The Family History Guide.

Look for our booth at RootsTech 2017. I will be teaching a series of classes each day of RootsTech 2017 about The Family History Guide at our booth.

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