Family History Library Lookup Service

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Whenever you find a reference to an index entry for adocument from, you really owe it to yourself to find and pull theoriginal document.  That is because anindex page is NOT a SOURCE. Also, the source document may have much moreinformation than the index that is critical for continuing your research. Tohave credible data, you must have the actual source page, [i.e., the actualcensus image, vs. the census index page]. Many source images are already onlineat[i.e., the 1940 census]

FamilySearch has published online six hundred million imagesfrom 1,225 archives so far, including nearly 3 billion searchable names. Thenumber of records is increasing by about 1.1 million records per day with over 300camera crews in 48 different countries filing records.  So you can see that is aninvaluable resource for your genealogical activities.


Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah

If you have an index but no image is associated with it, itmight be located at the Family History Library (FHL) in Salt Lake City.  The FHL is the largest repository in theworld of microfilm, microfiche, books, and other resources (such as maps) forfamily history research. Since 1938 FamilySearch has captured 3.1 billionrecords, most stored on 2.5 million rolls of microfilm from 202 differentcountries.  Twenty-three percent of theimages in the Granite Mountain vault have been digitized to date, with theremaining to be microfilmed in 3 to 4 years. [Note that “Granite Mountain” is a mass of solid rock one mile up LittleCottonwood Canyon in the Wasatch Range of Utah, not too far from Salt LakeCity. Despite its name, however, Granite Mountain is primarily composed ofquartz.]  Learn more about the FHL.


FamilySearch Catalog

Your guide to the records in the FHL is the FamilySearchCatalog. This catalog describes the records in each collection of the FHL. Ittells you which record collections contain the records for your ancestors,including births, marriages, and deaths; census records; church registers; andmany other records.

Access the FamilySearch catalog.


When you have located the book, microfiche,or microfilm in the catalog that you need and the SOURCE is NOT online for you to print, you havethree look up options:

a) Physically go to the FHL yourself and view or look up therecord.  This option requires you totravel to Salt Lake City, Utah, which may not be feasible.

b) Have someone go to the FHL for you to physically retrieve,view, and capture and/or copy the contents of the desired record.  This option is referred to as a “FHL LookupRequest” and is available for books, microfilm, and microfiche.  The research firm provides thisservice for a nominal charge.  For those who donot live in the Salt Lake area, this is the fastest/easiest way to obtaininformation from the actual record.  Requestsare processed usually within 5   days andthe results are sent to you via e-mail.


The research firm Rootsonomy provides lookups of books,magazines, fiche, or film at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. It's a simple 2-step process:

1. Locate the desired collection in theFamilySearch Catalog OR

2. Send a request to the FHL team of research professionals by completing the request form.

Thelookup specialists at Rootsonomy will search the book, film, or fiche for therequested document and digitally download and e-mail it to you within a couple days.

FHL Records 

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February 22, 2013
Wesley is the founder of

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