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

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

What is The Family History Guide?
This past week, I presented at a very well organized and well-attended genealogy conference or seminar in Yuma, Arizona. Besides having fabulous winter weather, Yuma is a small, mainly agricultural town on the Arizona border between Arizona and California and Mexico. It has also become a major winter destination for "snowbirds" or people who migrate from their homes in the cold country to warmer areas every year.

What I find almost every time I give genealogical presentations is that many people are "interested" in genealogy but either have no idea how to get started or do not know how to progress past the "casual interest" stage. I often talk to people who pull out a stack of paper and say something to the effect of what should I do now? The answer to both these questions and many others is simple: The Family History Guide.

So many people out there in the larger genealogical community are, in a real sense, remaking the wheel. They are talking and teaching about "how to get started in genealogy" when the blueprint for success is already free, online and readily accessible. But before going further in answering the question in the title of this post, I need to explain my interest and involvement in The Family History Guide website.

Almost five years ago, I was introduced to the newly developed website of The Family History Guide at a meeting of the UVTAGG or Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group. I immediately recognized the value of a comprehensive approach to teaching family history or genealogy in a concise, sequenced, and comprehensive way. Subsequently, I volunteered to help the developers with publicity and over time, both my wife and I became even more involved and both of us presently serve on the Board of Directors of the sponsoring organization, The Family History Guide Association. Why would we do this? Basically, because we are interested in advancing genealogical knowledge around the world and see this website as a major solution to this challenge.

We do not get paid. We are volunteers. The entire website and all the development and support is provided through donated funds handled by the 501 (c) 3 non-profit corporation known as The Family History Guide Association. By the way, you can donate to the Association through the website. Detailed information about the corporation is on the website. See is the world's largest source of information on nonprofit organizations.

How effective is The Family History Guide?

Well, it has been used now for years to teach the missionaries at the Brigham Young University Family History Library and some of the missionaries at the Salt Lake City, Utah Family History Library. It is used now by thousands of people around the world to advance family history and genealogy in a major way. It is an official training partner of See FamilySearch Solutions Gallery.

Another challenge to the larger genealogical community is involving younger people in their families. There are numerous online articles about the lack of knowledge of the youth about their grandparents. Significant percentages of today's youth do not even know the identities of their grandparents and even fewer know the identities of their great-grandparents. The Family History Guide has a whole section of activities to help families, youth, and children learn about family history.
The Family History Guide website is not just a superficial, one-hour, treatment of genealogy and family history. There are thousands of supporting links to further information. The Countries section provides links for starting research in most of the major countries of the world.
If you appreciate the value of family history or genealogy, please take the time to investigate The Family History Guide. What else can you do?

1. Take a second to like this post and share it with others.
2. Take a few minutes and visit The Family History Guide Association website and donate to support The Family History Guide.
3. Become involved by becoming a Trainer and teach The Family History Guide to others.
If you are able to attend the upcoming RootsTech 2019 Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, be sure and come by our booth and say hello and learn more about The Family History Guide.


  1. Excellent article - great summary of The Family History Guide!

  2. thank you, your article is very helpful and informative for me as a beginner