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Pocatello FSL
700 East Lewis

Pocatello, Idaho
[1] 208-232-9262
Mon thru Thur: 9 am-9 pm
Fri: 9 am-5 pm
Sat: 9 am-1 pm
Sun: 2 pm-6 pm
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Contact Information
Holiday Schedule
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Local Resources


Pocatello Idaho Family History Center

The Pocatello Idaho Family History Center is located in downtown Pocatello, and serves the residents of Bannock, Power, and parts of Bingham counties. We have over seventy trained volunteers who assist our patrons. The Center is dedicated to providing education and support for the family history community in Southeast Idaho.


FamilySearch This article describes the services and resources available at a Family History Center, a branch facility of the Family History Library.

Group Activities[edit | edit source]

The Pocatello Idaho Family History Center is pleased and eager to offer the opportunity for individuals, organizations, and other groups to schedule a group visit to our Center. We offer a variety of options that are sure to provide interest to your group - Youth, Adult, Church, Organization, Club, etc.Please review the following guide lines for scheduling a group visit.

Group Size[edit | edit source]

  • If you want a tour of the Center, groups should be 10 or less to avoid disturbing other patrons who are working.
  • If you want to schedule a classroom for instruction, we have 2 options - Our large classroom has 24 computer stations and our smaller classroom has 12 computer stations.

Reservation Procedure[edit | edit source]

  • Check the Calendar page (the link is found on the Pocatello Idaho Family History Center wiki page) to see available dates.
  • Determine the date you would like to come.
  • Determine the goal for your visit. You may want to check the list of suggested activities below for ideas.
  • Call the Center - 208-232-9262 - to reserve the date.

Available Times[edit | edit source]

  • In order to use the Center as efficiently as possible, we suggest the following times:
  • Evening group visits (Tue, Wed and Thu) will begin at 5:00 PM or 7:00 PM.
  • Daytime reservations (Mon thru Sat) will begin at 10:00 AM, 1:00 PM or 3:00 PM.

Supervision[edit | edit source]

  • Adults accompanying youth groups should prepare to actively participate with their youth.
  • Local family history consultants are an excellent resource to bring with your group and will provide continuity after your visit.

Printing[edit | edit source]

  • Copies of any documents found during your visit can be printed at the Center for $0.05 each. (B/W 8"x11").
  • Documents could also be scanned and saved to your flash drive.

Guidelines for a Successful and Rewarding Visit[edit | edit source]

  • Please DO NOT bring food or drink to the Center.
  • Church Account Registration: Each Church Member of the group needs to have a Church Login Account BEFORE coming to the Center.

Please have them log into or another church account site to make sure their username and password are working.

For members who don't have a current account, have them register for one prior to your visit. They can do this by going to and clicking on the Register for a Church Account button on the right side of the screen and entering the necessary information, which includes their church membership number and birth date. Their membership number is on their temple recommend or can be provided by their ward clerk.

  • Personal Family History Information: Except for Indexing visits, please have everyone bring a personal Pedigree Chart with as much family information as possible. A research log or notebook is also important for recording search results.
  • Specific Goal or Objective to Accomplish: Each group should have an idea or goal, before they arrive, of what they would like to accomplish during the visit to our Center.

Suggested Activities at the Center[edit | edit source]

While most of the activities below can be done at our Center, we've also tried to give you the forms, websites, etc. needed so you could prepare these activities for your own groups - Youth groups, Family History classes, Relief Society mini classes, etc.

Youth 12-18[edit | edit source]

Introduction to the Family History Center

A tour and overview of our Center, including the resources, tools, equipment, computers, multimedia & oral history center available for use by our patrons.

Introduction to New FamilySearch/FamilySearch

  • A demonstration of finding an ancestor in New FamilySearch, then locating historical documents about that ancestor in FamilySearch to learn more about him.
  • Great preparation for Pioneer Trek
  • We use the 3 short videos - Step 1, 2 and 3 found at allowing time after each for hands-on practice.
  • The Youth may also like to create a 9-generation Fan Chart in pdf format which they can save to a flash drive and get printed at a local print shop (our printers do not print large enough to make the chart readable). (Find an ancestor)

  • View the video - Family History - Made Simple (2:19), excellent for children as well as adults. It ends with the suggestion to search

Introduction to Indexing

  • An overview of the why and how of indexing with hands-on practice.
  • Youth may also enjoy the Indexing App for their phone or tablet. 

Research Quick Start

A focused presentation demonstrating popular research websites to find specific information on your ancestors.

Cemetery Scavenger Hunt

  • Find a Grave is an excellent research site where volunteers post information about their deceased ancestors in cemeteries around the world.
  • You may find birth/death dates, tombstone pictures, links to other family members, photos and even biographical information.
  • This scavenger hunt type activity will help you learn how to use the site and inspire you to contribute as well.
  • Activity Form used in this activity.

Adults[edit | edit source]

All activities listed in the Youth section work well for adults as well.  Other ideas are:

  • You could then show any one of these short videos, depending on the interest of the group.
  • Each section (Finding Records, Wiki, Indexing, Forums and New FamilySearch) has an overview or getting started video if your group is just beginning or more indepth ones for advanced interests.
  • Then let them practice, hands-on, what they learn.

FH Center Research Scavenger Hunt

  • Dear Myrtle created a Family Tree Scavenger Hunt that we’ve updated for today’s technology and adapted to work in our Family History Center.
  • This Scavenger Hunt is intended to acquaint patrons with microfiche, microfilm, maps, reference books, computer programs,  Internet sites and other resources available at our Center

Starting your own Database

  • Begin by viewing the video - Family History - Made Simple (2:19)
  • Create a new database (Ask leader ahead of time, which program their group would like to use.)
  • Enter their own personal information.
  • View the video - Finding Easy Information (3:07) pausing after the memory section (1:18) and have them add their family members and information they know.
  • Open a new tab and View the video "Step 2 Discover a Family Record" (2:23)
  • Search for records about an ancestor on
  • Add the information they find to their database.
  • Continue the video -Finding Easy Information (at 1:19), then challenge them to go home and gather what records they can find and start interviewing relatives to learn more.

Group Visit without a Presentaton

This is for those who have been trained or oriented, but want to schedule a time where group members can go directly to the Center and make use of the computers with our staff assistance as needed.

Other Sources for Great Family History Activities[edit | edit source]

Visit a Cemetery

  • This wouldn't work in the FHC, but it would be a fun one for a group that could go to the actual cemetery.
  • Jennifer, at "One Branch at a Time" Blog has developed Cemetery Scavenger Hunts for Primary age as well as YMYW age.
  • Be sure to stress reverence and respect for their deceased ancestors before taking youth to the cemetery.

Other Sources for Great Family History Activities

5 Minute Genealogy videos - 25 great, short videos  on YouTube, FamilySearch channel.  Build an entire activity around 1 video, then practice what you learn.

FamilySearch Youth and Family History website offers ideas to help youth discover their ancestors and serve others by sharing their talents and experiences.