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Genealogy How-To
 Getting Started
 Getting Organized
 Developing Your Research Skills
 Sharing Your Family's Story
 Reference Guide
 Biography Assistant
Free Genealogy Classes
 Beginning Genealogy
 Internet Genealogy
 Tracing Immigrant Origins

Family Finder
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* Finding previous research with Ancestral File

The Ancestral File can best be described as the world's genealogy database. The Ancestral File is compiled by the staff at the Family History Library. The heart of the Ancestral File comes from contributors, just like you, who submit their family trees to the Library. The Library adds people's trees to the Ancestral File or attaches them to another tree that is already in the file. The Church encourages everyone to submit what they have to the file. All in all, the File contains about 10 million names and 1 million families. One day, we may be able to see all of mankind linked into one great big family tree! But for now, by searching this file you may find that research has already been done about your family.

By searching the file, you can find out what research has already been done on your family. To search the Ancestral File you must go to a FamilySearch computer at the a Family History Library of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or to your local Family History Center.

When looking for pedigrees or genealogies, many people use computerized pedigree or genealogy indexes to help them find the pedigree or genealogy that they need. Some libraries have computerized pedigree or genealogy indexes and you can also purchase genealogies on CD-ROM from, Inc.

The FamilyFinder Index, a feature of Family Tree Maker software and also available for searching at, is an index of over 220 million names from census records, marriage records, Social Security death records, actual family trees, and more. This feature can help you by telling you if your ancestor's name is actually listed on one of the genealogy CDs sells. Using the FamilyFinder Index couldn't be easier -- all you need to do is enter the names of your ancestors right into your own computer. If the FamilyFinder Index tells you that your ancestors are listed, then it's simple to locate your ancestor's record. For more information about FamilyFinder, or for information about purchasing CD-ROM indexes, see the topic All about FamilyFinder.

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