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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Tutorial: How to find free research assistance

Are you trying to find resources to document an ancestor?  Did you know that you can get free online research assistance at familysearch.org?

Follow this tutorial to learn how to access FamilySearch Forums and find the help you need.

1.  Go to beta.familysearch.org and click on Help at the top right portion of the screen.

2.  Scroll down the page and click on Research Forums.

3.  Register so that you will receive an email when someone answers your question.  Then check your email to activate your free account.  When you vist the Forums from then on, log on at the top right portion of the screen.

4. This is what it looks like after you have logged into the FamilySearch Forums.  Choose the locality where your ancestor lived.  In this example, we will select North America.

5.  Next, choose the locality in North America where your ancestor lived.  We will choose Southern States.

6. It is a great idea to search the Forums to see if someone already posted a question about your ancestor.  Look for "Search the Forums" the same page near the top right.

7.  Scroll down until you see:Click on new thread.

8.  You must be logged into FamilySearch Forums, for the following page to appear. If you have not registered, you will not receive a notification when your question is answered. 
  • These are some of the elements of a post: 
  • Select the state from the drop-down menu.
  • Enter a title using your ancestor's name and location.
  • Post your question.  Be sure to include what you already know: (ancestor's name, town, spouse, age, birth, death, etc.) Hint: If you take a long time to post your question then you may get logged out.  Type your question into a word processor.  Then paste it into this section.
  • Enter tags so that you can search to find the post later and so that others can find it.
  • Preview your post
  • Click "Submit New Thread"

9.  Remember to check back for the answer to your post. Sometimes you might have to provide more information.  You will also receive an email response to your post.  Let the person responding know you received the answer by submitting a reply.

10.  The question that I posted above received two responses within 48 hours. This is one of the emails I received:

11.  This is one of the responses at it appears in the Forums:

11.  Click here to view the entire thread: 

12.  Many great professionals and enthusiasts help to answer questions in the Forums.  Hopefully, you will begin to post your questions and share your talents there as well!


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