Would you like a one-stop resource for learning to research in any location, complete with links to videos, how-to articles, and record collections? In this guest post, you’ll discover unique features of The Family History Guide that are sure to help with your family history pursuits. The mission statement says it all.
Our mission is to greatly increase the number of people actively involved in family history worldwide, and to make everyone’s family history journey easier, more efficient, and more enjoyable.
The website launched in 2015 and continues to grow with visitors to the website from over 150 countries. Enjoy this introduction to The Family History Guide!
By Bob Taylor, co-founder of The Family History Guide Association
As I introduce people to The Family History Guide website, occasionally people who are more experienced in research will remark something like, “Oh a guide … that must be for beginners.” It’s true that The Family History Guide has great resources for those new to family history, such as our Get Started page and Beginner’s Path. That extends to a complete Learning System for mastering FamilySearch, Ancestry, MyHeritage, and Findmypast skills.
But there is so much more to discover in The Family History Guide, especially for researchers. Let’s take a look at five areas of the website that can help you accelerate your research, whatever your area of emphasis is.
1. Country Pages
No matter where in the world you are doing research, the Country pages are a great resource. You can find them in the Countries menu, arranged by area, or in “All Countries” at the top of the menu. Those with the most resources are listed first, followed by the “More Countries” section.
When you select a country, you’ll find Goal links (categories) across the top that cover the essential research topics for the country. There are links to articles, videos, and databases to help you each step of the way in your research. Here’s a sample from the Italy Civil Registration page:
There are additional research pages for each U.S. state, English county, Canadian province, and Australian state. Also, each U.S. state has links to helpful resources on the county level, such as Linkpendium, U.S. GenWeb, etc.
The Family History Guide makes finding record collections faster and easier with its thousands of QUIKLinks. Each QUIKLink takes you directly to a records search screen in FamilySearch, Ancestry, MyHeritage, or Findmypast. Below is an example of QUIKLinks in the Ireland Civil Registration page: FS = FamilySearch, AC = Ancestry, and FMP = Findmypast.
QUIKLinks are provided for collections with 50,000 or more records.
3. Research Skills
Wherever you are currently with your research skills, it’s always good to get some fresh perspectives. In Project 4: Discover, the Goal 7 page has some great resources. Here are the categories (Choices) on the page:
And here’s an excerpt from Choice G (we call it the Brick Walls section):
There are two separate knowledge bases in The Family History Guide: United States / General, and Countries. Each one has topics that each open up to a list of handy knowledge tidbits for research. Here’s an example that shows knowledge items for African American slavery research:
5. The Vault
In the main part of The Family History Guide website, there are just one or two articles or videos per step. That’s by design, to avoid information overload. But if you are really interested in digging into a particular area of research, you can visit the Vault. It’s a collection of many genealogy articles and videos, arranged by category and referenced by a list at the top of the page. Here’s the list at the top of the Vault:
Ready for More?
We’ve just scratched the surface of what’s available in The Family History Guide. On the website, use the top menu (or the side menu if you’re on a tablet or phone) to find your way around. If you’re looking for a specific item, you can use the Search icon or the Topics page in the Intro menu. See you on the site!