Family History Center_MK17

WATCH: 5 tips to be better at family history

Story by Rachel Sande

Lately, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been pushing the importance of family history work. Now before you roll your eyes and think “not this again,” think again. Thanks to some recent announcements at RootsTech, family history does not have to be as hard as you think. Today, we have a few of those tips for you:

Number 1: record family members telling stories. If you’re having trouble finding stories about your ancestors, start by telling the stories you do know! It’s so simple. Just ask your grandparents, parents or a sibling about their lives. It doesn’t have to be someone older than you. Ask a few questions, and then pull out your phone and record it.

Number 2: write in your own journal.  Did you know that this is considered family history. It is a very effective way to start your family history is, according to Personal life stories.

Number 3: teach someone else what you learn about family history. Maybe you are one of those people that, like me, love the topic of family history. If you teach someone what you know, you not only strengthen what your are learning, but you are helping others do family history, too!

Number 4: scan family history books. If your family is anything like mine, you have tons of pictures, written journals and documents in your house. Have a family party dedicated to scanning, uploading and digitizing these records. This alone can do so much good and help others find ancestors!  Plus, it helps you bring your ancestor’s stories to life, instead of just names and dates.

Number 5: check different kinds of records for information. Did you know that there are many different documents and records that provide tons of information about a person? Census records, marriage certificates, death certificates, christenings, birth certificates, newspapers, military records, church records, ship passenger records, city directories, court records, prison records, immigration and naturalization records, workhouse and union records, tax records, cemetery records and land deeds, just to name a few. These documents are like pieces of a puzzle and can help you put the whole story together. These can give all sorts of information from parents names, important dates, locations and so much more.  These aren’t hard to find either. You can find them on,, findmypast and other places.  And members of the Church get for free!

Have something you have questions about, or something you want us to investigate?  Leave a comment below.

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