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Quick Tour Is Here!

About The Family History Guide

About The Family History Guide

The Family History Guide is a website that represents a best-in-class learning environment for family history. Its scope is broad, but its focus is narrow enough to help you achieve your goals, step by step. Whether you're brand new to family history or a seasoned researcher—or somewhere in between—The Family History Guide can be your difference maker.

Mission Statement: "Our mission is to greatly increase the number of people actively involved in family history worldwide, and to make everyone's family history journey easier, more efficient, and more enjoyable."

Here are some of the unique features you'll find on the site:

The FamilySearch article "Learn to Use FamilySearch" points to The Family History Guide in numerous places as a trusted learning resource.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is this site free?
    Yes. There are no fees or subscriptions for using the website or its contents. Getting more people involved with family history, and more effectively, is the mission of The Family History Guide.

  2. Does The Family History Guide accept advertising or promote commercial products?
    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.

  3. What about copyright?
    The site and its materials are copyrighted, so please do not email or repost any of the content without written permission from The Family History Guide. For training use, see the Terms and Conditions page.

  4. Is this an LDS Church-sponsored site?
    No, this site is not sponsored by FamilySearch® or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but it is endorsed by FamilySearch and is recommended for training on LDS.org. Views expressed here are solely of its site owners.

  5. Is there information in the The Family History Guide for LDS users?
    Yes. Information about LDS items of interest is available in the LDS tab on the Home page.

  6. Does The Family History Guide contain genealogical records?
    No, but it helps you learn how to use the vast record sources at FamilySearch, Ancestry, Findmypast, MyHeritage, etc. You can use a number of links in The Family History Guide to go directly to popular search pages by location or record type.

  7. May I add a link to The Family History Guide on my website or blog?
    Yes, in fact we encourage it.

  8. Are there links to other family history sites?
    Yes, there are many helpful links to tutorials, articles, and videos in The Family History Guide. See About the Projects for details.

  9. What if I have other questions about The Family History Guide?
    Use the Contact Us link on the Home page, or send an email to: info@TheFHGuide.com for more information.

About the Projects

About the Projects

The Projects in The Family History Guide are listed below (also in the menu at the top of the screen). There are separate Projects for FamilySearch, Ancestry, MyHeritage, and Findmypast.

FamilySearch Ancestry MyHeritage Findmypast
1. Family Tree 1. Get Started 1. Account 1. Account
2. Memories 2. Family Tree 2. Family Tree 2. Family Tree
3. Descendancy 3. Docs, Stories, Photos 3. Docs, Photos 3. Docs, Photos
4. Discover 4. Research 4. Research 4. Research
5. Indexing 5. Help 5. Help 5. Help
6. Help 6. Technology 6. Technology 6. Technology
7. Technology 7. DNA 7. DNA
8. DNA

Goals, Choices, Instructions, Resources

To help you with learning and doing your family history, each Project has Goals, Choices, Instructions, and Resources.

Project Resources

Project Resources

Many of the Choices and Instructions in The Family History Guide link to documents and videos.

Try it: launch a video or document by clicking an icon from the list above.

Page numbers in parentheses, such as (p. 3-4), mean the information you need is on those pages. Page numbers without parentheses, such as 8 pgs., mean the document is 8 pages long. (No page number means the document is a web page.) Hold the mouse pointer over the document icon above; it directs you to page 3.

Icon video timings in parentheses, such as (3:00-4:30), mean the information you need is in that part of the video, so you can fast-forward to it. With no parentheses, such as 25:21, the timing refers to the total length of the video.

Tips: Many of the FamilySearch videos have accompanying handouts. When you open the start page for the video, you can launch the .PDF file (usually less than 10 pages) as an alternative to watching the video. Also, some videos have static screens at the beginning; for those, you can skip ahead a minute or so without missing much.

Online Tracker

You can keep track of your progress in The Family History Guide by using the Online Tracker. After you create a free account, you can take notes online and set your progress status with handy slider bars. The changes you make, as well as the dates of your revisions, are automatically saved in our secure online database for your ongoing use.

Tracker (Word)

Each Project in The Family History Guide has a corresponding Tracker file that helps you keep track of the progress you have made with Goals and Choices for that Project. There are brief instructions at the top of the file to help you with using it. To download a Tracker, go to the Project you want and click the Tracker link on the left side of the page.
Note : The Tracker files are in Microsoft Word format so you can edit them. If you are using a Mac device, the Pages program or app can open the Microsoft Word file.

QUIKLinks for Country Pages

A handy feature of The Family History Guide is its QUIKLinks. These are links that take you directly to a given record collection or other link on the sites of FamilySearch, Ancestry, MyHeritage, or Findmypast, without having to navigate through menus to find it. Here are some guidelines for using the QUIKLinks:

You can see an example of QUIKLinks in the left side of the United States country page.

The Vault

In addition to the videos and documents shown in each of the individual projects, there is a huge collection of additional resources waiting for you in the Vault. It contains links and titles for many helpful videos, documents, and websites not included in the Projects. These are laid out in simple tables on the page. It also contains a topics list you can expand to show links to all the major categories, as well as a Legend that explains the abbreviations for sources used in the Vault.