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Genealogy: Family History Center
The Church of the Latter Day Saints provides Family History Centers to assist you with your genealogical research. According to the web site for the Church, church members do family history research because they are motivated by love for their deceased family members and a desire to serve them. They believe that life does not end at death and that when we die, our eternal spirits go to a spirit world. Members of the Church believe that the family can also continue beyond the grave, not just until death, and that families can be united through eternity. Therefore, it is important to identify one’s family members or ancestors.
The Family History Center in Camden County is located at:
252 Evesham Road
Cherry Hill, New Jersey
T, Th 6:30-9:00 pm; W, Th, & Sat 9:30 am-2:30 pm
How It All Began
This story begins with the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, in the United States of America. Since it was established in 1894, the Family History Library has become the largest of its kind in the world. However, because not everyone is able to come to Salt Lake City to use the Family History Library, most of its extensive holdings are accessible at the numerous Family History Centers sponsored by the Genealogical Society of Utah. These Family History Centers are located throughout the world, primarily in LDS Church meetinghouses.
The library houses millions of microfilms, thousands of microfiche and books, and many other records. Most of the microfilms have been acquired through an extensive microfilming program that began in 1938.
Microfilmers are presently filming original documents in churches, courthouses, and archives in many countries. The originals of these microfilms are preserved in a vault in the mountains near Salt Lake City. Copies of microfilms are available for use at the Family History Library and at Family History Centers.
Free Genealogy Workshops
The Cherry Hill Family History Center offers free genealogy workshops on a variety of topics for beginning and intermediate researchers. Topics include African American, Irish and Italian research, writing your family history, internet research, immigration and naturalization, organization, creating family videos and more. Visit the website to see the schedule.
A series of research outlines is available at the Family History Center. Each outline describes records of genealogical value, where they are located, and how they can be used. Each outline also describes how to find the most important records in the Family History Library Catalog.
Other useful publications include:
Library Services and Resources (4 pages, free). An annual overview of the Family History Library and the local Family History Centers.
Where Do I Start? (4 pages, free). Introduces the five-step process of research.
A Guide to Research (24 pages; $0.40 U.S.). A simple explanation of the research process.
Using the Family History Library Catalog (44 pages; $0.75 U.S.). A booklet which explains the Family History Library Catalog, a listing of the worldwide resources available to each center.
Almost all of the Family History Library's worldwide collection can be loaned, for a limited time, for use at the Family History Centers. There is a small postage and handling fee; all centers charge this same basic fee. Please note that the majority of the microfilms are copies of handwritten, historical records in a variety of foreign languages. The records include copies of government birth and death records, church registers, census schedules, military files, and immigration lists.
Reference collections available at each center in the United States and Canada include:
Accelerated Indexing Systems. U.S. census indexes, primarily 1790-1850.
Periodical Source Index (PERSI), 1846-1990. Index to genealogy magazines.
Reference Collection. Useful books for getting started in various countries.
FamilySearch™ is a computerized system of information that includes:
Scottish Church Records Family History Library Catalog
Social Security Death Index
International Genealogical Index
Patrons are encouraged to share their time and efforts with the rest of the family history community by:
Contributing to Ancestral File, a computer file of linked families.
Correcting information already in Ancestral File.
Indexing (ask about the local Family Record Extraction program).