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Family History Library System
A Step-by-Step Guide to the Family History Library, Family History Centers and FamilySearch Internet Genealogy Service
 More of this Feature
• Pg 2: FamilySearch Online
• Pg 3: What Do My Results Mean
• Pg 4: Make the Most of Your Search

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"Have you ever used your local Family History Center? Did you find it helpful?"
--Kimberly
 
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• Salt Lake City Guide

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By Kimberly Powell

Family History Library - Mormon GenealogyThe Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah provides access to the world's largest collection of genealogical records, including the names of more than 2 billion deceased people.  The library, owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was founded in 1894,  to gather genealogical records and assist Church members in tracing their family histories. 

The master copies of the more than three million records collected by the Church are stored in the Granite Mountain storage facility, a massive vault built literally into a mountainside about 25 miles from downtown Salt Lake City.

But you don't have to trek all the way to Utah to use the resources of this amazing library.  The Family History Library has a vast system of over 3,400 branch libraries, known as Family History Centers ("FHCs" for short), located throughout the world to help people search for the records of their ancestors.  The Family History Centers operate in 64 countries, and more than 100,000 rolls of microfilm are circulated to the centers each month.  These records include vital, census, land, probate, immigration, and church records, as well as many other records of genealogical value.

The use of any Family History Center is free, and the public is welcome. Church and community volunteers are on hand to answer questions and lend assistance. These centers are staffed and funded by local Church congregations and are usually located in Church buildings.  If you are concerned that someone at a FHC will push their religion on you, then don't be!  The Latter-day Saints believe that families are eternal and encourage members to identify their deceased ancestors. They wish to share the family history information they have collected with people of all faiths.  Your religious beliefs will not be an issue, and no missionaries will come to your door because you used one of their facilities.

You can explore many of the resources that your local Family History Center has available, and  locate one near you, from the comfort of your own home. Join me on an introductory tour of the online FamilySearch Internet Genealogy Service!

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