Ancestors Tree



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Charts and Records


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Sooner or later, you'll want to visit a library or archive to find records that you don't have at home. But a library can often seem overwhelming to the beginning researcher. In this episode, Ancestors hosts Jim and Terry Willard take you on location to the largest genealogical library in the world, the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, where staff and patrons offer their personal tips for a successful research trip. The Family History Library houses 2 million rolls of microfilm and more than 270,000 compiled family histories.



  • Start locally. Become familiar with local libraries, historical and genealogical societies, and family history centers in your area.
  • Use state and national resources only after you have thoroughly explored what is available to you locally. This approach will save you time and money.
  • Use the following four-step research process when you visit a library:
  1. Identify what you already know
  2. Decide what you want to learn
  3. Choose a record to search for
  4. Find and research the record, recording the information on your pedigree chart and research log.


Suggested Activities

Gather the information and materials you will need for a successful library trip. Be sure to include several pencils, blank paper or notebook, coins for the copying machines, and your research log. Call your local library or genealogical society to find out what hours and days of the week they are open. Review the information on your pedigree chart and select a specific research goal for your library visit so that you know what record you are looking for. Then go for it! Explore your community resources.



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