How to Teach Others to Do Family History and Love It

I love family history, which is why this year’s Easter campaign is so exciting to me. I love that they are encouraging people to get online and share stories and pictures of their deceased loved ones. This year, I’ve been working with some other LDS Bloggers to create resources to make your Easter celebration more meaningful and help you with your family history. You can follow along by searching for #MyForeverFamily on social media or keep checking on my #MyForeverFamily page.

How to Teach Others to Do Family History and Love It

This year, I attended RootsTech and took a class on how to teach others to do family history. I took a class about how to teach others to do their family history. I’ve helped other people learn to do their family history before and this class gave me a few new ideas on how to do this. I’d like to share with you the outline from my notes from this class.

  1. Prepare spiritually. Pray to be led to people who want to work on their family history and to be guided in your research. Pray to find those who are waiting to have their temple work done. This makes a huge difference in my own research when I offer a prayer before I get on Family Search. When I pray, I almost always find an ancestor who needs their work done. Also, pray when you meet with someone to help them with their family history.
  2. Discover their family history goals. Do they just want to learn how to used Family Search? Is there someone on their mind that they’d like to know more about?
  3. Get access to their tree. 
    • You can do this by getting their username and the last 5 digits of their membership number or their first and last name, birthdate and the last 5 numbers of their membership number. Make sure you explain to them what you are doing and get their permission.
    • Sign in to Family Search and go to your family tree. Look for the Help Others link in the top right corner and click it.

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  • Enter in the information in the form that pops up. You have two choices. The helper number is the last 5 digits of the person your helping.

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  1. Look for places where there is work available. Remember that you’re looking for something that will work well for a beginner. Places where you can connect records are ideal.
  2. Write down the pathway to the individual or family that you found step-by-step, so you can guide them to it. Have a couple other pathways for them to work on after you meet as homework.
  3. Look for records they can view and connect to individuals. Seeing the handwriting of an ancestor will help the person you’re working with to connect with their ancestor. Also, any record that provides details about what their ancestor’s life was like will also help them to connect.
  4. Look for an ancestor who has something in common with them. 
  5. Be open to using other family history websites in your research. They’re records vary from site to site. Check out my list of family history websites to try if you’re not sure where else to look.
  6. Listen to any promptings from the Holy Ghost. Heavenly Father knows where to find the people you are looking for!
  7. Prepare a step-by-step lesson plan using the information. Have a couple of back-up plans. This works best when they find work to do and feel successful!
  8. Celebrate their successes as you work together. 
  9. Keep it simple.
  10. Be available to help them after you meet with them to answer their questions and help them when they get stuck. 
  11. Point people to the temple. Is there someone who can do the work for these names? If not, maybe they should be left for someone else to reserve.

This post is part of a series of posts in the #MyForeverFamily campaign, a team effort of 15 bloggers to help you celebrate a more meaningful Easter. For more posts like this, click here. We will be adding links to this page until Easter, so check back often. 

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