Welcome to Assignment 2! I'll assume that you've opened your spreadsheet and entered what data you know. And here we go from there! I'm so excited for this part! Here in Assignment 2 we will begin building on the knowledge we have by searching for more! We'll be using my favorite family history tool, the free website at

I love FamilySearch because it provides free access for the two important functions we'll need for our class:

  • Find people who have already been entered in the database at FamilySearch (this is millions of people), and add them to your own family tree, or
  • Search through millions of records to add your ancestors' data to your tree and the FamilySearch system. (This makes it possible for other family members to find them, too!)

In class, we'll gather up the data you'll find (either if you find a Person who is already there, or whether you find records and create the Person to add them to), so we can create our Family History album.

The major side benefit of this (and also: Warning - Rabbit Hole Ahead) is that the Person record you create (or find, if there is one already) can lead to the next generation back, and the next, until the records get hard to find (mine trail off in Sweden for one branch, in the 1800s for example). BUT the further back you go, the more people there are who are likely searching for that same person, too! Imagine how many descendants a person would have who was born in 1800 and had 10 children, who each had 10, and so forth. Suddenly in 2016 you're searching for your great-great along with THOUSANDS of other people. Now that is awesome.

At FamilySearch, each person in your family tree becomes a "Person" - with a unique identifier. As other people from your family (say, your 3rd great aunt that you've never met) find or enter information for that Person, and as more and more becomes available via the volunteer "indexing" system, which parses through thousands of records a month, your Person might already be waiting to be attached to your own tree! And if not, then you can create the Person page for them yourself, and add the researched records to it!

In this video, I'll show you how to find a person in FamilySearch based on a spouse relationship, but you can do the same thing in the Tree section using the Find feature at the top of your screen. (start in Tree from the home page, not Search).

Grab your favorite drink, take a deep breath, and dive right in to your own family tree! I can't wait to show you!

DISCLAIMER: The web site is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons). You'll probably see little hints of that through the site, and it's the LDS church who keeps the records (literally). While I myself am a Mormon, I want you to know that I chose FamilySearch as our research and recording tool because it's the best free family history tool out there, and not because of a nefarious scheme on my part to get you to become involved in the LDS church. My nefarious scheme to use subliminal messages to get you to send me cookies, though - all bets off. (How's that working, by the way? Any extra urges to fire up the oven, perchance?)

Complete and Continue