3-Easy Steps to Family History


The Process of Doing
Your Family History To

Family history has become a AlexHaleyreal passion book-roots2and big-time hobby for millions of people today all around the world. Alex Haley, the author of Roots, called it “a hunger, bone-marrow deep, to know our heritage”. Family history helps you discover a sense of identify and family pride in your life. It can also help unite and strengthen bonds between family members.

GuyAtFileCabinetDoing your own family history – tracing your family roots and stories and connecting with your ancestors – used to be a long, arduous, tedious process. Not any more!

A Revolutionary New Way

Computers, technology, and the Internet have revolutionized the way we do family history and genealogy today. We can search farther and faster than ever before, and we can record everything we find with just a few keystrokes. Computers allow us to discover, store, access, and share family history information with speed and convenience. The Internet is an excellent and powerful tool for you to gather your family history information and share it with others. It contains a wealth of information and makes it easy to contact and stay in touch with others who might be working on your family roots.

To help make the process simple and as uncomplicated as possible, we’ve developed 3-Easy-Steps to begin building your family tree and connecting to the lives of your ancestors. Here are the basics:

Couple1STEP 1 - Identify your ancestors using your family. Write everything you know about your ancestors. Look for more information in your home. Choose a family or ancestor you want to learn more about. And ask relatives for information. Read more.

MamieSTEP 2 - Add new branches to your family tree using the Internet. See if someone has already found info on your ancestors. Then search other records for missing information. A virtual treasure trove of empowering, irreplaceable knowledge and information – much of which had been essentially “lost” to mankind in dusty archives around the world – is now instantly available to you at your fingertips at any time.

Click here for the top 10 U.S. Web sites to search for your ancestor.

Edith-Age-8-inDance3--bwSTEP 3 - Connect with the lives of your ancestors. Discover your family heritage, stories, and photos. Honor your ancestors like you would like to be honored by your descendants. Place your ancestor’s lives in context with history so you can get to know the times in which they lived.

ancestry-front-page1The Best of the Internet Web Sites can help you trace your family roots, connect to your ancestor’s lives, and locate information about your ancestor’s culture, traditions, homeland, and history.

Our Opportunities are Threefold

heart021) Develop a desire to turn your heart to your Fathers. As you search out your ancestors, you will grow to care more about those who have passed on, and feel a personal desire to connect with them. It all begins with a simple desire in your heart to love your ancestors. You should allow a thirst, a hunger, even a yearning for this marvelous blessing to take root in your heart.

Turn Your Heart to Your Fathers. Read more.

2) Determine what to do. All of us can do something to search for our roots. It’s not wise or necessary to attempt to do everything at once, but each of us can do something. Just what and how much you do depends on your own personal circumstances and abilities, and what your family may have already accomplished.

3) Be involved. We can be involved in some aspects of family history work throughout our lives. These are not necessarily activities we pursue for a brief time or put off until retirement.

Begin with a desire in your heart to love your ancestors. Plant a seed in your heart that can sprout and grow and bring forth good fruit for you for many generations. Learning and writing about your ancestors can help you better understand them and yourself. Family history work not only helps unite family members for eternity, it also strengthens bonds between living family members.

Our Unique Opportunity

davelisa-standingUsing today’s technology – the Internet, exciting, new computer tools, and new, readily available, rapidly-expanding databases of records from all over the world – genealogy and family history work is possible with ease and in record breaking time. No people in history have ever had the opportunity to connect with their beloved ancestors, learn about their lives and challenges, and grow to appreciate our heritage as easily and readily as we do today.

Loving Your Ancestors

No previous experience is required to begin planting your family tree today. You don’t have to become an expert, but you can and need to be an expert in loving your ancestors. Connecting with your ancestors, learning more about their lives, and honoring them is an expression of your love for them.

A Family Activity

Because family history is done for families, it is best done most efficiently by families. The blessings of tracing your family roots increase when families work together to identify your ancestors. Family members usually have information to share, or they may be willing to help you look for information. If you do not have immediate family members who are able and willing to assist you, then perhaps friends and extended family members can help.

Click here for 10 Things You Can Do Today to Get Started

J-Richard-ClarkeThe most Beautiful Family Tree
“Through family history we discover the most beautiful tree in the forest of creation – our family tree. Its numerous roots reach back through history, and its branches extend throughout eternity. Family history is the expansive expression of eternal love. It is born of selflessness. It provides opportunity to secure the family unit forever.” J. Richard Clarke, Ensign, May 1989, 60

Turn Your Heart to Your Fathersheart02

scriptures-openIn the Bible Old Testament, the prophet Malachi offers a prophecy (or divine prediction) that the prophet Elijah would turn the hearts of the Fathers (our ancestors) to the children, and the hearts of the children (all of us as descendants) to our Fathers:

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to the fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” (Malachi 4:5-6)

Almighty God has a wonderful plan to unite all of His children of all gener ations of time. His ingenious plan is to bind the hearts together of all those who have ever lived upon the earth – but who are yet alive in the after life – with the hearts of all of us who are alive today or will yet live upon the earth. The hearts of all of those who currently abide in the spirit world or afterlife are bound to us, their children, and they are looking for us to connect with them. Therefore they are helping us – even pushing us in the right direction – to find them and turn our hearts to them. As Bruce Hafen said, “There really can be a bond and a sense of belonging that ties together generations.”

People all over the world, of all faiths, creeds and races, are inspired to search for their family roots and turn their heart to their Fathers. This is a quiet but deep-seated driving force that is changing how some people see life, and helping them gain a sense of identify and purpose in life.

Our ancestors were pilgrims and pioneers who lived in a time when they had to endure tremendous physical hardships, and spend much of their time just trying to survive. We live in a time when God’s hand has helped provide new technology—a new easy, convenient way to trace and connect to our ancestors—and when vast resources of worldwide records and tech tools are available to assist us. With these tools, we are like partners with God in achieving His purposes for all of His children.

Who is the Prophet Elijah? and Why is it Important?

micah---ted-henningerThe story of Elijah is recorded in the Old Testament (1 Kings. 17-2; Kings. 2; 2 Chronicles 21:12-15), and reference is made to him in the New Testament (Matthew 16:14; 17:3; 27:47-49; Mark 6:14-15; 9:4; 15:35-36; Luke 4:25-26; 9:30; James 5:17).

He was a great prophet who performed mighty miracles. His recorded words are few but forceful, and his deeds are explicit evidences of his strength of will, force of character, and personal courage. He was an example of solid faith in the Lord. With his ministry are associated such colorful events as calling down fire from heaven, sealing the heavens with no rain for 3 1/2 years, and raising a boy from the dead. His life closed dramatically... “there appeared a chariot of fire...and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven,” (2 Kings. 2:11-12).

In the meridian of time, many people mistook Jesus for Elijah returned (Matthew 16:14). Today, the promise of Elijah is still remembered by the Jewish people every year at Passover. A special place is still reserved for him at the dinner table as an invited guest, with a cup of wine. At a prescribed time during the meal, the door is opened for him to enter.

Elijah’s mission then, in part, is to stimulate research for ancestors – to prompt all of us to trace our own family roots, discover our ancestor’s stories, connect with their lives – and enable families throughout time to be linked together. He accomplishes this by helping turn our hearts to our Fathers. But God expects us to do this work ourselves in partnership with Him.

This, then, is part of God’s ingenious plan to unite all of His children. And we play an important part in His overall plan. Our part is simply to be touched by the ‘Spirit of Elijah’ and turn our hearts to our Fathers. Our part encompasses tracing our own family roots, and connecting with the lives of our ancestors. And God will help you to accomplish this work.

10 Things You Can Do
Today to Get Started

1. Plant a seed in your heart for a desire to connect to your ancestors; nourish the seed so it can grow; learn about the sacrifices they made to make your life better, prepare to receive help from your ancestors.
2. Take a free online “How To” lesson (or tutorial). Read more.
3. Subscribe to a free e-newsletter or magazine; register for a free blog.  Read more.
4. Review and purchase a family history software program and get acquainted with the basics.  Read more.
5. Write down everything you know about your ancestors; contact your family’s “keeper of the flame” (your family’s historian), and ask him/her to share their information. Read more.
6. Search existing online family tree Web sites and published family histories for information on your ancestor.  Read more.
7. Scan your precious photos and documents to a digital format to protect them and be able to easily share with others.   Read more.
8. Begin to write your family history; gather your family stories; record the life stories of your parents/grandparents before its too late; record your own story while you can still remember; interview a relative; get grandkids involved to help establish a bond between generations.  Read more.
9. Collaborate with others to add branches to your family tree using a social networking Web site; connect with your family, swap stories, and share photos, recipes and information. Read more.
10. Hold a family reunion; organize your family; reach out to your extended family members; start a family blog or online photo album; volunteer to help index public records at home.  Read more.


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