Family History

Making Our Homes Family Discovery Centers

In a General Conference address several years ago, Elder Quentin L. Cook said, “We finally have the doctrine, the temples, and the technology for families to accomplish [the] glorious work of salvation. Our family history centers are now in our homes.”

FamilySearch is a star player in this effort with new interactive experiences available on its website and mobile Family Tree app. With three new, easy-to-use features, our homes can become Family Discovery Centers similar to the one in downtown Salt Lake City.

These features include:

  • All About Me—learn what makes your name and birth year special. Find out what your name means, plus find top news stories, the cost of a movie ticket, who won the World Series, the population of the United States, and more about the year you were born.
  • Compare-a-face—take a selfie and FamilySearch will scan all your photos on the site to determine which ancestor you look most like.
  • Picture My Heritage—once your heritage is established, take a selfie to add your face to an old ethnic photo.

(All found at FamilySearch.org/Discovery and on the app* under Family History Activities.)

Photo by: churchofjesuschrist.org Elder Quentin L. Cook taught that family history begins at home

Photo by: churchofjesuschrist.org
Elder Quentin L. Cook taught that family history begins at home

Click on “In-home Activities” to find more ways to connect with family—both past and present. Examples include family trivia games, time capsule questions, putting together an All-About-Me box, and much, much more.

These are easy, fun activities for a Family Home Evening, family reunion, or a Sunday afternoon. In his conference talk Elder Cook encouraged what he called “Family Tree Gatherings” where “everyone would bring family histories, stories, and photos, including cherished possessions of grandparents and parents…and [also] determine what ordinances still need to be done and make assignments for the essential temple work.”

He continued, “Our young people are excited to learn about the lives of family members—where they came from and how they lived. Many have had their hearts turned to the fathers.”

In addition to family-friendly discovery experiences, FamilySearch addresses the topic of DNA through the launch of a new webpage. DNA technology has irreversibly affected family history research, and for some whose eyes glaze over at the mention of family history, receiving their own test results can be the key to getting hooked on finding their roots.

On the page users can discover the value of DNA testing, peruse available options, and find tips for how to use data once it’s received. The site also defines terminology and answers common questions about DNA. Access this resource at https://www.familysearch.org/home/dna-testing

*Over 90% of FamilySearch Family Tree’s online functionality can now be done on the app

Link to Elder Cook’s talk: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2014/04/roots-and-branches?lang=eng

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