Category Archives: Family Search

Kids Want to Know Their Family History

Recently our 8 year old grandson spent the night to celebrate his birthday with us. We planned fun things like breakfast at a restaurant, shopping for his birthday present, kite flying and grandpa teaching him how to use a BB gun. What was his request? “I want to see the place where dad grew up.”  It was important to him to know and see where dad lived when he was 8. We made a road trip south of Monroe to show him the home place and tell a few stories. And a picture was required.

Home Place

Our Home Place

It is easy to overlook the fact that our grandkids are interested in our stories. I’m always looking for ways to share stories in a meaningful way. Over the next month I have 3 grandchildren graduating from high school. Each is going to receive a photo book with a collection of pictures spanning 18 years….many they probably have never seen because they are in my digital collection on a computer. It is a way for me to share our unique “grandparent-grandchild” story….and something to keep for the next generation.

Do you need some inspiration for sharing your story? Check out this FamilySearch blog: 52 Questions in 52 weeks: Writing Your Life Story Has Never Been Easier. Leave a legacy by sharing your stories…don’t let them die with you.


Getting Started With Family Search

It was a good learning time about Family Search with Elder & Sister Riley at the Johnson Library in Darlington, WI on Sunday, July 27. You can still take part in the second presentation on Aug 24 as the Rileys will review what was previously covered before teaching us how to use photos and do sourcing in Family Search. But you don’t have to wait until then to get started.

The first step to getting started is to go to and create your account with a username and password. Once you have your account set up I know you will want to get started building your tree online but before getting started check your settings. On the upper right corner you will see your name with a down arrow. See my picture. familysearch_homeWhen you click the down arrow three options appear – Settings, Source Box, and Sign Out. When you click settings a list of the following information appears: Name, Username, Password, Display Name, Birth Date, Gender and Helper Number. Make sure your name, etc. is as you want it to appear on your tree. Because I use my nickname all the time and my accounts are set up with my nickname that’s what appeared in my tree when I started and I didn’t know how to change it to my given name until someone showed me how to change my settings. It was here I was able to set my birth name “Virginia Hanson” (Yes, Ladies, it needs to be your maiden name) and then set my display name with my nickname “Ginny”. Make sure you have your birth date and gender correct. Now everything will appear correctly in your tree – “You are the first entry.”

One more important thing before leaving the Settings is the Helper Number. Record that number with your username and password. If you ever need to contact the help center you will need to have that Helper Number. It will save you time if you have your number recorded in a quickly accessible place and have it ready before you contact them.

Now spend some time exploring. The best place to start is the “Get Help” above your name. It’s under the red arrow on my picture. There you will find a 3 minute video to watch on “Quick Start to Family Search” and if you click “Getting Started” you will find more videos. When you check out the Help Center you’ll find the “Top 10 Frequently Asked Questions”. In the Learning Center you will find more videos and courses. You can also check out FamilySearch Wiki.

Happy exploring and share your discoveries!