My blog has been changed to make it more appealing for those who have New England ancestors and want to see the area through photos. Things I’ll include are typical white New England churches, libraries showing their genealogical collection, historical societies, cemeteries, war memorials, in general, anything to do with history.

For four years I’ve blogged mostly about my personal genealogy in New England (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire), New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada. I still will, can’t forget my own roots.

Please check out the labels on the right side for articles. The header tabs at the top are a work in progress.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

What Does a Family History Center Look Like?

The entrance to the Family History Center
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
110 Concord Street, Nashua, New Hampshire

Recently, I read that one of my long-time genealogy facebook friends had never been to a Family History Center (FHC), and that got me thinking about the one I used to spend many, many days in. That thought prompted me to drive to Nashua, New Hampshire and re-visit it. This is the only local FHC I've been in, so I don't know what the others are like in the United States. Per Wikipedia, "As of 2018, there are more than 5,100 FHCs in 140 countries."To enter this center, drive around the church (shown above), park in the large lot, and walk through the double doors, as shown below.

Since there are many Family History Centers in the United States, why not contact one, if you are interested in learning how to do genealogy through a free class or just to get help. For Massachusetts there are 10 sites, the link is:

To enter the Nashua center, drive around the church (shown above), park in the large lot, and walk through the double doors, as shown below.

About 21 years ago, the center was in an ordinary strip mall, where the church rented space for their FHC. I especially liked the location, because it was only five miles away. After a period, the church made space for the FHC and allotted two rooms for researchers.

I've met some nice volunteers there, and became friendly with one, a certified genealogist, whom helped me for many years. The center was often crowded, so there were often wait times. The front room had desks, tables, copy machine, printers and computers (very few people had their own computer, but if they did, they weren't laptops). The back room was quite dark because it was where the microfilm readers were housed. I don't recall how many there were were, my guess is nine. Over the years, they would break, and they weren't repaired. Since those days, I made several trips to the largest FHC, the one in Salt Lake City, Utah, and I never returned to Nashua.

Imagine my surprise when I showed up at the center five minutes after it opened. The front room looked pretty much the same, but the computer screens were large. There were two researchers already there, and two other people. I told them who I was and that I wanted to take some photos for this post. I noticed that the back room was blocked, and I was told, the church needed the space and the FHC didn't because so much is on the internet. I looked in the file cabinet and saw many rows of microfilm for Italy and United States. These were rented by a patron for a particular period to use at this center.

When you enter the FHC, you should sign in, as shown below.

Book cases and file cabinet at the back of the room blocking the door to the former room. Nice restrooms are out the door beside the tan file cabinet (below).

Rented microfilm.

Permanent collection of fiche.
Looking towards the front door, and below on the right is the door that leads out to this hall, and the restrooms.
Please see their website for detailed information, including hours, phone number, a link for the directions and a schedule of upcoming workshops, all free.

Their next workshop is:

Genealogy Basics: Basic Internet Research

  • Open to the Public
  • Date: September 22, 2018, at 11am
  • Repeats on September 25, 2018, at 7pm
  • Where: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 110 Concord Street, Nashua, New Hampshire, in the Family History Center
  • Cost: Free
This workshop will review basic internet searches for genealogical purposes including online trees, region searches, general genealogical informational searches, using social media for genealogical collaboration, finding information in genealogical online encyclopedias (wikis), available genealogical research websites and how to conduct successful online searches for information.
Feel free to bring your own device and stay after the class to try out your new skills!
From my past, I'm  sharing my last page (of 7) of a 1995 International Genealogical Index (IGI) for my Bishop surname. I had seven pages of Bishops from New Haven.

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