Making use of the LDS:
Family History Centers
One of the best resources currently available for genealogical research is the Family History Library of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is a church belonging to the Mormon denomination. The Family History Library is a huge and very comprehensive collection of documents with a searchable online catalogue that will prove invaluable to you in your studies.
You may also conduct your research offline; the Family History Library has established Family History Centres that serve as branches of the said library. Many of these Family History Centres can be found in towns and cities all over Great Britain and even in some countries around the world. They host archived copies of all their collected documents on microfilm and make these available for perusal by the general public.
The Family History Library has a highly effective method or system of organisation for its catalogue, making it relatively easy to find just the document you are looking for. In fact, their system of organisation is so efficient that it has been used as an organisational model for some websites that host online documents.
One feature of the Family History Library that should be of particular interest to genealogical researchers is the International Genealogical Index (also known as IGI), which you will be able to access at the LDS Family Search site. This online index is comprised of millions of recorded entries of mainly baptismal certificates and marriage records. Many of these records are culled from various church registers that are themselves products of a carefully organised program of meticulous transcription to ensure the utmost accuracy and data reliability of its contents. The International Genealogical Index also contains many entries that are submitted by individual contributors and as such, they may not always be entirely accurate. As with any other source of information, any genealogical researcher who utilises the information contained in the index should check their veracity thoroughly first. Nonetheless, it is a good place to begin your genealogical research and you should definitely include it in your list of research material.
As wide as the coverage of the International Genealogical Index's content is, it is obviously impossible to provide information about every single person who ever existed. Therefore if you find out that the person you are looking for is not listed in the index you should not give up your search efforts and instead utilise the many other sources available to you. In any case, the International Genealogical Index contains almost all the recorded birth certificates and marriage records in Scotland from the years 1855 to 1875, as gathered from local civil registration records.
The LDS Family Search site also offers a set of very useful Introductory Guides into the genealogy of various countries and states. A lot of research has gone into the production of these research guides and they are well worth the cost. These guides provide information on the holdings of the Family History Library and as such make them a more useful resource than the many other commercially available introductory publications.
Original Authors: Doods Pangburn
Edit Update Authors: M.A.Harris
Updated On: 20/06/2008