• Latter Day Saints Family History Libraries

    Members of the Church of Latter Day Saints (also known as Mormons) have a religious obligation to trace their ancestors. They share the information they have collected over the years with non-believers through the IGI and by allowing us to use their facilities and the records they have filmed.

    The Church of the Latter Day Saints (LDS) has filmed a massive amount of information of interest to genealogists - Parish Records, Manor Court Books, jail indexes, wills indexes, census and lots more. They have made this information available to anyone who can attend one of their libraries.

    Some people, whose only contact with members of the church has been a knock at the door from one of their missionaries or an approach in the street, are a little nervous about using the LDS Family History Libraries, worried that members may try to convert them. There is no need to worry about this. The church members who act as volunteers in the Libraries are forbidden from discussing religion at all, although they will answer particular questions.

    The Libraries are usually housed in a room in the Church building. They vary very much in size. Some only have room for 5 or so people others have room for more. An appointment is always necessary as they are very much in demand.

    The libraries have film and fiche readers on which you can search records. Some libraries have limited access to Ancestry.com on computer and a selection of genealogy CDs that can also be searched. Most libraries have a small collection of films and fiche on permanent loan, usually the GRO index. It is possible to order any record they have filmed for a small fee and it is held at the library for a month so that you can search for that elusive event.

    For those who live many miles from the counties where their ancestors lived a nearby Family History Library may be the only place where they can view pre 1837 records and take that vital step back another generation.



    Using the libraries

    The first thing to do is to find out if there is one near you.

    If you find you are able to visit a library the next step is to see what records you can order in to the centre. A place name search here will bring up every record filmed of the parish of your interest.

    Films are ordered online - click here for instructions. When you have registered you can order film/fiche which are delivered to your nearest Family History Centre. The cost of a film on loan is £7.50, payable by credit card at the time of ordering. Film loan is initially for 90 days but can be renewed for an additional 90 days for a further cost of £7.50. All films may be renewed twice.




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