FamilySearch’s excellent online research outlines are among our go-to resources when editing Family Tree Magazine articles about tracing ancestors in this or that place, and we often recommend the guides in our articles. They cover how to do research, historical background, genealogy terms to know, writing request letters, and much more.
But the guides are linked in different places on FamilySearch, so sometimes it’s hard to find the right one. Here’s our quick guide to finding FamilySearch guides:
- Start by clicking the Search tab at the top of the page. Then look in the blue bar under “Search”:
- Now, for an alphabetical index to the FHL’s research outlines, letter-writing guides, word lists, beginners’ guides, census worksheets and more, click Research Helps. This index is sorted by place, but you can use the links on the left to sort it by title, subject or document type.
Click a document title to access the guide’s content online. Or, click PDF to download a PDF with the information, or click the item number (in the right-hand column) to order a copy mailed to you. Not all the guides have all three options.
- To get steps for finding the FHL’s microfilmed birth, marriage and death information by place and year, click Research Guidance, then click on a place.
On the next page, choose a tab for historical background, advice for beginners, and research strategies for various records. This information is drawn from the above-mentioned research guides.
- For in-depth, full-color PDF guides to a selection of ancestries, look on the home page under “Get Started With Family History” and click the word guides. From here, you also can follow links to separate directories of the word lists, letter-writing guides, forms and more.