Friday, February 25, 2011

Successful LDS adventure and I didn't walk away with a single source

You may remember my rant about my fears of visiting an LDS Family History Center. I finally ripped off the Band-Aid and made a visit to order films a few weeks ago. Last night I actually went to the center to review my films. I had ordered three, one about Roanoke, Virginia marriages and two showing vital records for Ventimiglia, Sicily.

The amount of time I could apply to the visit was limited so I decided to start with the records in English to warm up my eyes. I was looking for information on Marcellus White, who has been the bane of my genealogical existence. I was hoping to find record of his marriage to Mary Tosh which I believe to have occurred around 1860. The documents were hard to read and not ordered in any fashion at all. Unfortunately, I FOUND NOTHING. I am so distraught with Mr. White for not being on that record. Surely he could have gotten himself in print somewhere.

But my trip was not wasted. This was my first visit to a FHC to conduct research and this visit helped me to become more comfortable with the process. This is the second visit overall and every time there have been helpful volunteers that want nothing better than for me to be comfortable and to find my ancestors. I appreciate that and now the only thing hindering my visits is the time between diaper changes.

Special tip: If you visit an FHC, be sure to sign the sign-in sheet as those are sent to Salt Lake City and help to ensure funding for better equipment.


Anonymous said...

Hi Heather - I have really enjoyed your blog. I have been at this for four serious years - and I have to admit that I've only been to the LDS Library one time. The building was dank...the technology was old as the hills...the ladies tending the place were sweet and tried to be helpfu. So my first experience was not great...but I've been thinking lately that I should take the plunge and go back for another try. I've exhausted all my local sources..and now need to branch out. Thanks for your post! Judy

Heather Kuhn Roelker said...

Judy- I would agree that some of the equipment is old but the records you can walk away with are pure gold. Just yesterday I went back for my third visit and found 10 more of my husband's Italian family members. And I taught the volunteers a couple of things they didn't know. After three visits they know my name and it is a comfortable place. Definitely give it a another shot!

Donna Hanson said...

Dear Judy (I hope you're following Heather's blog because it totally rocks), please try the FHC library again...I'm not a church member, but have been a volunteer researcher there for almost two years. You're right in that the volunteers don't all have the same technology training, but they do care and will point you to other researchers in the church or local genealogy libraries. I believe that all FHC libraries now have access to,, the Gottfried Library and the archives in Salt Lake City. As a side note...any of you may contact me at: and I'll be happy to do research for you while I'm at the library. Happy hunting!

Jana Stokes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jana Stokes said...

Oops, got the post on the wrong blog. Sorry! Was on this article because I was interested in your experience at a FHC.

BTW, I read a FS (FamilySearch) Facebook post this week that FS now has an agreement with the Italian government to digitize all their vital records---perhaps you already saw that?