Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825

     As experienced genealogists know and amateur genealogists will quickly learn, FamilySearch is the online family history arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), which has amassed the largest genealogy collection in the world. The collection contains more than 3.5 billion genealogical records and continues to grow daily. One of church’s main goals is to digitize and place online as many records as possible. Since these records are available free of charge to the general public, the LDS website is extremely popular. To help researchers utilize the site to its full potential, George G. Morgan has compiled Research.

     In his “quick facts” section, Morgan mentions a variety of things a genealogist can do on the website. For example, you can upload your family tree, pictures, stories, and documents. You can produce a pedigree chart or a fan chart of your ancestral tree. You can search or browse the contents of FamilySearch’s enormous collection of genealogical records and genealogies submitted by users of the site. To research more than 75,000 articles, you can use the FamilySearch Wiki. You can utilize the Learning Center’s online courses and video tutorials. In addition, you can volunteer to take part in indexing projects to make digital images easily available for researchers.

     To aid genealogists in simplifying research choices, the compiler provides an outline of the site’s most useful features. Morgan recounts in some detail the functions available through the three primary navigation tools: Family Tree, Memories, and Search. The author describes in the Family Tree section how to enter and edit information about individual relatives, either manually or by uploading a GEDCOM file. He also explains how a unique ID number is assigned to individuals. In the Memories segment, Morgan reveals how functions available in that area can be linked to records of individuals or to albums. Morgan states that the Search section provides access to five categories of materials: records, user-submitted genealogies, the FamilySearch catalog, books, and the Research Wiki.

     More than half of Morgan’s publication concerns searching and browsing records. The author tells researchers how they can restrict or narrow searches, the options available on search results, and how to filter long lists of materials. Although some collections of digitized images have not yet been indexed, he encourages researchers not to despair. By examining samples of the Arkansas Confederate Pensions and the North Carolina Probate Court Records, 1735-1970, Morgan demonstrates how information can be located in unindexed data.

     Because the LDS church has been microfilming genealogical information from around the world for over seventy-five years, the importance of FamilySearch’s digitizing and sharing those records can be easily understood, especially for researchers who cannot travel to research repositories. Explaining how to access the vast amount of materials available online, Research will be welcomed by genealogists as a helpful addition to their personal research libraries.

     The most recent addition to the popular “Genealogy at a Glance” series, the guide follows the standard format of condensing Morgan’s expertise into four laminated pages. To the guide's price of $8.95, buyers should add the cost for postage and handling charges. For U. S. postal mail, the cost is $4.50 for one item and $2.50 for each additional copy; for FedEx ground service, the cost is $6.00 for one copy and $2.50 for each additional item. The guide (item order 3891) may be purchased by check, money order, MasterCard, or Visa from Genealogical Publishing Company, 3600 Clipper Mill Rd., Suite 260, Baltimore, MD 21211-1953. For phone orders, call toll free 1-800-296-6687; fax 1-410-752-8492; website

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