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Saturday, June 26, 2010

LDS Family History Library

I made two recent visits to the LDS Family History Library near my home in Sacramento. The hope of researching further back on some of my family lines is always on my mind when it comes to my family tree. I was not sure what to expect from the library but was very interested. During my first visit, I just intended to stop by and check the place out. A volunteer helped me by answering some of questions and giving me a quick tour. The place is pretty small but they have computers and microfilm/microfiche equipment in a separate room. They have fairly broad hours of operation (not open on the weekdend) and the library itself is free. They can order microfiche from Utah for you to view onsite. The cost is $6 and then it is there for you to view for a 3-4 week period of time. You can't take the film home with you. I'm not sure why you'd want to since the readers are located there. You can copy information off microfiche and they even have the ability for you to send the file to a computer in the room to upload the information onto a USB drive. My first visit gave me some hope.

My second visit was about a week and half later. I walked in ready to look up information in their card catalog and order some microfiche. I guess I should not have been so excited. Disappointment can run rampant in your search for your family tree. Sometimes I forgot that with all of the luck that I've had. A volunteer started to help me locate the available microfiche for my various families. The first thing that she had me do was go to www.familysearch.org. From there she had me look up the specific locations that my Irish families were from in Ireland. Searching by location does make a lot of sense. What I found was that the information only went back to the mid 1850s. The volunteer seemed pretty tapped out on ideas after that. I started wishing that the original gentleman that I had spoken with was there. He wasn't there that day.

I asked if the LDS Church was connected in any way to the Kolob Family Research Center in Utah that houses the Irish Records Extraction Database. They said that they did not know what that was. I can see this pop up as a result from searches for certain Irish surnames on Ancestry.com.

I stayed for about half an hour. Two volunteers tried to answer some of my questions but not much came from my visit. I have to admit my disappointment was not just with the lack of finding information but with their services. I am still suspect that they have some information that would help but do not know they have it. I do think that the LDS Family Libraries may be for beginners. If you're just getting started and only need to go back 100-150 years, they can probably help you. They do offer free classes on genealogy too. Maybe if I find some free time, I can go to one.

At least I can say that I explored this research option.

2 comments:

  1. Didn't even know we had a LDS History Library. Very cool even though it didn't help you much.

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  2. Tina, It's on Eastern Avenue too right near us.

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