Family History Library (FHL)
and the Family History Center (FHC)
The Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah was
founded back in 1894 to help members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day
Saints (LDS) research their genealogical roots. It is the largest
genealogical library in the world. Now, the Library is open to all
genealogists and family historians. You do not have to be a member
of the LDS Church to use its extensive sources. The Family History Library
is visited by over 2,000 patrons every day!
One does not need to visit Salt Lake City to use the
Library's collection of microfilm and microfiche. There are Family History
Centers located across the country and around the world. Each Family
History Center is a branch of the main Library. Each FHC is staffed by
volunteers who can help you research your family. For a minimal fee, you
can request copies of microfilms and microfiche from the Library in Salt Lake
City. The material will be sent to your FHC for you to use. The
material must be viewed at the FHC within a certain amount of time. You
can not check any of the material out. You have the option of extending
the time period for borrowing. Keep in mind that some of the material,
like books, maps and some microfilms and microfiche, are protected material and
can not be loaned out to the FHC from the Library.
For finding a Family History Center nearest you, place
a search at their
Before heading to your Family History Center, you can
check the Library's catalog through the website above:
www. familysearch.com. It's also a great site for the beginner with
all of its tutorials, explanations and sample charts. You can search its
databases, like the Ancestral File and International Genealogical Index (IGI).
Steps on searching the Family History Library's catalog
- Go to the site
- Click on the tab "Library" located at the top middle
of the page.
- Click on "Family History Library Catalog" located just
- Choose "Place Search"
- Enter in the "Place" field the name of your ancestral
parish (village names not always listed).
- Hint: When you've exhausted reviewing the material for
your particular place, click on the link "View Related Places" on the
upper-right of the Place Details search results page. This will
open more possibilities of interest!
Remember, the Family History Library and each of the
Family History Centers welcome you with open arms. There you will
undoubtedly expand your pedigree charts and see your passion for genealogy grow!