Virtual Genealogy Consultations
What are Virtual Genealogy Consultations?[edit | edit source]
Free virtual genealogy consultations are designed to provide you with research guidance, methodology, and next steps. Our research specialists offer helpful suggestions and assistance with your research goals, to empower you as you discover and connect with your family. Virtual genealogy consultations are made possible through a partnership between FamilySearch and its Affiliate Libraries. You may be assigned to meet with a research specialist from the Family History Library, Midwest Genealogical Center staff, or a volunteer research specialist from one of our worldwide Family History Centers.
Booking Process[edit | edit source]
Please read to following notes before booking your appointment[edit | edit source]
- These are free, 20-minute virtual consultations held via Zoom. DNA genealogy consultations are 40-minutes.
- Genealogy consultations are designed to provide research guidance, methodology, and next steps rather than research or record-lookups.
- We only offer genealogy consultations for the countries listed on the virtual genealogy consultations page. As we grow, we will include additional countries and regions across the globe.
- Because we are trying to assist as many individuals as possible, we ask that you do not book more than one consultation in any given week.
- Please provide as much information as possible on the booking form. This will help the research specialist be better prepared to provide you with the best suggestions possible.
- Due to contractual obligations, research specialists may not be able to offer access in consultations to historical records that are restricted to Family History Centers and Affiliate Libraries.
- Please note that the specialist may not have access to the physical resources located in the Library for your genealogy consultation.
- Appointments may be canceled at any time in the event of unexpected conflicts or sickness. In the event of a cancellation, you will be contacted via email with an option to reschedule.
- We reserve the right to refuse service at any time.
To Book Your Virtual Genealogy Consultation[edit | edit source]
- Click on the blue Book your Virtual Genealogy Consultation button below.
- Select your desired area of research from the list on the bookings page.
- Select your genealogy consultation type. We only offer consultations for countries listed on the booking page. Please note that genealogy consultations are primarily organized by modern country boundaries, rather than historical jurisdictions. Choose the country in which your ancestor's town is currently located.
- Select a day and time for your meeting. Be sure to double check that the time zone is correct.
- Fill in the requested information. Keep in mind the more details you provide, the better your research specialist will be able to serve you.
While booking, if you need to go back to a previous page, do not use the back arrow in your browser; instead click on Change Selection located in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.
In addition to English, genealogy consultations are currently available in the languages listed below. Click on the hyperlink to access the informational Virtual Genealogy Consultations FamilySearch Wiki page for that language.
Preparing for and Accessing Your Genealogy Consultation[edit | edit source]
Upon booking:[edit | edit source]
- You will receive a confirmation email upon booking. In some cases, it may take several minutes for you to receive your email. If you do not receive an email, try checking your spam or promotions folder. Please read the email carefully and take note of the following information:
- The confirmation email contains important details about your genealogy consultation, a calendar invite, and a link to your Zoom meeting.
- You will also receive reminder email(s), prior to your meeting. Reminder emails also contain a link to your Zoom meeting.
At the time of your appointment:[edit | edit source]
- Open your confirmation or reminder email.
- Scroll down to the Booking Details section.
- Under the Virtual Meeting Location heading, click on the Zoom hyperlink.
- A new tab will open up in your browser. If you have the Zoom desktop application installed, you will be prompted to open the meeting in the application.
- If asked for a passcode, return to your confirmation or reminder email and copy and paste the passcode. The passcode is found directly below the Zoom link.
- If you join before the host does, please wait patiently for the host to admit you to the meeting.
- Once you have been admitted, select your video and audio settings. You do not need to enable video, but be sure to unmute yourself.
If you are new to Zoom, you may wish to explore the Zoom Help Center or Zoom Frequently Asked Questions to prepare for your genealogy consultation. If you encounter any difficulties joining your genealogy consultation on Zoom, try checking out Zoom Troubleshooting.
Additional Research and Translation Help[edit | edit source]
For additional assistance with research or document translation help, check out the FamilySearch Community, which consists of people who wish to collaborate and help one another find answers. The Community allows you to ask research questions, upload documents, get help with translations, participate in discussions, discover new resources, or learn about upcoming webinars and events. Many users receive responses to their questions within three days. Learn how to use the Community by watching this short, 5-minute video. You may also want to check out FamilySearch Genealogy Research Groups to find a Community or alternate Facebook group relevant to your ancestor's locality.