The New Family History Center is in the Home

Most LDS family history work can now be done from home

For some time now, I have been working with one of my friends on his Mexican ancestry. As we work through the Mexican civil registration records and parish records from his ancestors' home, we have been consistently finding records of his family enabling him to take their names to the temple for ordinances. All of this research to find his family has been done on digitized records available from the Historical Record Collections.

What is most remarkable about all this research is that it has all been done right in my friend's home on his computer. The records he needs to find his family are all digitized and on FamilySearch. In fact, for the Mexican records he is using, those records are not available anywhere else online. Previously, it would have taken weeks and several trips to the nearest FamilySearch Center to find these same records on microfilm. Now they are available instantly and free online. As FamilySearch has been saying recently, the new Family History Center is in the home.

This experience is not unique. In fact, it is apparent that FamilySearch is working hard to make this happen in many places around the world. If you live in Utah, especially if you live along the Wasatch Front, you probably have a Family History Center only a few minutes away from your home. But in many places around the world, people are not as fortunate. They may have little or no access to the records they need to find their family. For this reason, FamilySearch is expanding their digitized records internationally.

There are still some challenges. Many people around the world only have access to the Internet through a tablet or smartphone. The real challenge is to have the programs and records available on these devices with ways to have the information transmitted to the temples electronically so cards can be printed at the time the members go to the temple to do the ordinances. I can guess that in the near future, there will be facilities to handle people who do not have ready access to desktop computers and printers.

But the future is already here for many of us. We can do the research, find our lost ancestors, reserve the names and print the necessary forms to take the names to the temples right from our homes.

For some time now, FamilySearch has been promoting the concept of Find, Take and Teach. That is, find your ancestors, take their names to the temple, and then teach others how to do the same. When this process moves into the home, there is a great savings in the time it takes to do this work. However the key here is that the work be accomplished. We now have the resources. We need the willpower to get moving and do the work. If you are wondering how this might be done, I suggest starting with the series of steps outlined in detail in The Family History Guide, which will take you through a series of steps so that you can learn exactly how it is done.

In addition, for the time being, many of us still have Family History Centers with trained missionaries and volunteers that can help.

Written by James L. Tanner. Used with permission.

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