Sunday, February 19, 2012

What to Do?

The question was asked, “What do I do if a patron comes into the FHC and I (with minimal or no training) am the only person available to help them?” Here are some suggestions (I welcome any additions!)

Ask “How may I help you?”

If they already have films or know what to do, just say, “Please go ahead.”

If they are unsure, ask “What country and time period are you interested in researching?”

If they are researching Canada, USA or UK between 1840-1910, suggest they check the records in and other commercial sites (Computers > Portal > Premium Sites >

For all areas of the world and a wider time-span, suggest (Computers > Portal > FamilySearch > Records)
Then try searching the Trees on by clicking the Trees menu.
And also try:
Family History Library Catalog (i.e. the list of the microfilmed records). This can be found in Computers > Portal >  FamilySearch > Catalog > Place-name
They can find if we have microfilmed records for the time and place they are researching.
Films can be rented for 90 days at, and viewed at the FHC.

To find resources for research, try and search for the place.

If they want training, suggest the training videos at Computers > Portal > Learn
There are hundreds of training videos to choose from, for beginners to advanced researchers, and in a variety of countries.

OK … what other suggestions do you have? 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Printing a Free Fan Chart from (also

For this to work, you must already be registered for nFS ( Your local Family History Center may be able to help you to register. The colored 9-generation fan charts are beautiful, but you may need to save the electronic copy and take it to a quick printing shop that has large sizes of paper to have it printed. If you have Adobe Reader 10 installed on your computer you can probably print the chart in a "tiled" format across several sheets of normal-sized paper. Another option is to save the electronic (PDF) file and email it to family members. The charts are beautiful.

This process allows you to print a chart for anyone whose Person IDentifer number you know:
Go to
Click Start Now
Click Login (below the FamilySearch logo)
Input nFS user name and password
Click Sign in (window closes when done)
Click Create Tree
Click on the link to the person, or scroll down and input the PID of anyone in nFS
Click Create Data Set (window closes when done)
Click Create Chart
Click Open or Save to open or save your fan chart. (If you save it, choose a meaningful name and location so you can find it again.)

NOTE: The person whose fan chart you are printing does NOT need to be a registered user of nFS, they just need a record in nFS (i.e. have a Person IDentifier) You can check in nFS for someone's PID (e.g. George Washington) and input the PID (KNDX-MKG) in to create a fan chart of his ancestors. Try it.

This site is sometimes busy. Be patient, if nothing happens for 10 minutes it may be necessary to reload the page to complete the process.