People who want to learn how to find their roots in France, Italy, Norway or Iceland have new helps available from the Church.
"Finding Records of Your Ancestors," has easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions in "how-to" booklets that include colorful graphics and tear-out worksheets. How-to booklets about Denmark and Sweden were published previously.
These guide booklets are designed for those who have already gathered some information from their family and started to organize their family history. The booklets simplify the next step, which is to begin searching public and private records.
The guides are designed for those who have had little experience in research, and who may not have time to do extensive research.
Beginning in an inviting workbook format, the guides give the steps and tools needed to find one's French, Icelandic, Italian or Norwegian roots.
Where to start, how to find and use records, and what to look for in the records are some of the questions that are answered. The booklets are more visual and user friendly than many other how-to publications in this field.
Beginning in family history, people often "feel overwhelmed by what they don't know, and that can stifle their desire to learn more about their ancestors," said Nadine Timothy, who coordinated publication of these guides for the Church.
Kay Merkley, instructional designer for the Finding Records of Your Ancestors series, explained, "We wanted to take beginners by the hand and walk them through the research process."
"It's not an easy process at first, but these guides provide a simple strategy not available before on how to go from one record to another."
Expert search tips, including how to use the Family History Library catalog, are included, along with maps, historical timelines and background on naming customs. Besides suggesting a strategy for getting started, the guide offers instructions on more advanced research, including addresses and Web sites for more information.
The guides are available through Church Distribution Services worldwide and can be ordered by calling toll free 1-800-537-5971 or by going to on the Internet to www.familysearch.org.
The guides are $3.25 each. Please use the correct item numbers when placing your order: Finding Records of Your Ancestors, Part A: France, 1792 to 1880 (item 36584); Finding Records of Your Ancestors, Part A: Iceland, 1835 to 1900 (item 36693); Finding Records of Your Ancestors, Part A: Italy, 1809 to 1910 (item 36580); and Finding Records of Your Ancestors, Part A: Norway, 1827 to 1900 (item 36578).
The first two guides in the series, printed in 2002, are: Finding Records of Your Ancestors, Part A Denmark, 1834 to 1900 (item 36577) and Finding Records of Your Ancestors, Part A: Sweden, 1860 to 1920 (item 36579).