San Diego California FamilySearch Library

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aka The San Diego Family History Center
4195 Camino Del Rio South, San Diego, CA 92108

(East side of building)

Don and Donna Martin, Co-Directors
Temple & Family History Area Consultants

Our Library and its basic services are provided free to the public.
We invite all who are interested in genealogy and family history to visit.
Our volunteers can show you how to use the Library’s resources.
To make your visit more effective, please bring as much information as you have
about the ancestor(s) you wish to research.
This includes copies of birth, marriage and death information or other information that you have. 
Don't forget to bring a flash drive!
A nominal fee is charged for printing.


SDFHC-Remodel Info 2018-2019.jpg

***** San Diego Family History Center Remodel ****

This center will close for construction on July 28th, 2018 at 3:00 pm. 
We will staff a smaller Family History Center with reduced hours in the Allied Gardens area. 
This temporary center will open 1 September 2018. It will remain open during the 6-12 month remodel period.

If you would like information updates regarding the opening date and address of the temporary center,
the progress of our remodel, and/or the announcement of our grand reopening, please do one of the following:
·       Follow our page on FaceBook: San Diego Family History Library
·       Check our status on our webpage: (THIS PAGE!)
·       Or send us an email at and we will add you to our SD FHC update list.
·       All emails will be sent bcc so your email address will remain private.

Hours and Holidays
Patron Resources
Genealogy Research
Youth Program Assistance
Neighboring Collections
Latter-day Saint Collections

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Getting Started
Our Class Schedule
Class Schedule
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Guide to Research
Go to Learning Center Home
Free On Line Courses
Research Forms
Forms and Aid
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Research Problems Help
SDFHC What to bring.jpg
What to Bring to the FHC
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Order Microfilm/Fiche

The San Diego Family History Center off of Interstate 8. Click on image to enlarge. Follow red lines to the east side of the building. For additional direction images, please click here.

Calendar of Events[edit | edit source]

We provide a calendar of our activities at the Library. Click on the hyperlink for the current calendar of events.

SPECIAL!  New York Times Newspapers on microfilm dated 1 March 1984 to 31 Dec 2006. Located at the end and bottom of the microfilm drawers. <-- Being removed 

Hours and Holidays[edit | edit source]

Location Map:

  • Language: primary English, some Spanish, a little ASL and a hodgepodge of this and that.

Open Hours:

The San Diego Family History Center is located on the east side of the building.
  • Tuesday:10:00am-3:00pm
  • Wednesday:10:00am-9:00pm
  • Thursday:10:00am-9:00pm
  • Friday10:00am-3:00pm
  • Saturday:10:00am-3:00pm

Holiday Schedule:

Holiday Schedule for 2018 - We are closed on the following days. (tentative)
Saturday 1 April 2018, Wednesday 4 July 2018, Saturday 6 October 2018, The week of 19 to 24 November 2018, The week of 19 to 23 December 2017, The week of 24 to 29 December 2018 and on Tuesday 1 January 2019. <--- Closed for remodeling starting 28 July 2018.

Directions[edit | edit source]

In San Diego at 4195 Camino Del Rio South on the east side of the building with ample free parking. We are located across the street from the Penske Truck Rental Center.

For Google map, click here (GPS location: 32.777407,-117.103357)

Buses: For San Diego MTS public transport Route 18, click here. The bus stop is at 4141 Camino Del Rio South, about 225 feet west of the Church parking lot. This bus route does not run on Saturdays or Sundays.

On-site Free Internet Access for Genealogy Research[edit | edit source]

  • 19th Century British Library Newspapers digital archive – This fully searchable database of the British Library's newspaper holdings provides a complete run of 48 national and regional Victorian British newspapers for the 19th century from 1800 to 1900. These support the study of colonial history, genealogical research, politics, urban studies, and media courses.
  • Access Newspaper Archives - " is the world's largest online newspaper archive. Featuring billions of articles from historical newspapers around the U.S. and the world, NewspaperARCHIVE makes exploring history and genealogy easy and fun. Discover fascinating news in archived newspapers hundreds of years old—including obituaries, birth announcements, sports articles, comics, and more—to fill in the life stories you are interested in. And share those stories with others through our community at Our NewspaperARCHIVE. All of our historical newspapers are full-page and fully searchable. Try exploring above, and discover your history today!"
  • Alexander Street Press, American Civil War

◦Research Data: Contains indexed, searchable information on over 4 million soldiers and thousands of battles, together with 15,000 photographs. ◦Letters and Diaries: Contains approximately 100,000 indexed pages of diaries, letters, and memoirs, including 4,000 pages of previously unpublished manuscripts, such as the letters of Amos Wood and his wife and the diary of Maryland planter William Claytor. ◦Images, Photographs, Posters, and Ephemera: Provides a vivid history of the American Civil War with over 1,400 images.

  • - Institutional version – Ancestry gives you access to thousands of collections of records from around the world, including immigration, census, voter, vital, and military records; newspapers and periodicals; family trees; photos and images; directories, maps, court, land, wills and financial records, stories, memories, and histories; and detailed records about births, marriages, deaths, land ownership, and much more. It is the largest for-profit genealogy company in the world.
  • ArkivDigital Online - ArkivDigital is the largest private provider of Swedish Church Records and other historical records online! All images are newly photographed color images of the original documents.
  • Find My Past – FindMyPast makes it easy to research your UK ancestry and create your family tree. Search census records and trace births, marriages, and deaths to bring your family history to life.

◦1911 British Census (accessed through the Find My Past website )–The 1911 UK Census is a record of everyone who lived in England and Wales in 1911. It provides a unique snapshot of the lives of those who lived at that time. Note: Some parts of Find My Past access may be limited due to negotiations (23 Oct 2013).

  • Fold3 (formerly – Search or browse millions of historical documents and photos. Fold3 has refocused their efforts on gathering the best online collection of military records and stories. The Fold3 name reflects military history and honor, since traditionally, the third fold in a flag-folding ceremony honors and remembers veterans for their sacrifice in defending their country and promoting peace in the world. See Using Fold3 at a Family History Center for more information.
  • The Genealogist - No longer available except for UK use only per
  • Heritage Quest Online – Heritage Quest Online database. This service was removed due to contract expiration.
  • Historic Map Works Library Edition – Historic Map Works™ Library Edition is one of the most extensive digital map collections available, with over 470,000 high-resolution, full color historic and antique maps. The core of the collection consists of cadastral (property and land ownership) maps illustrating the geographic and development history of the United States and also includes illustrations, city directories, and more. This unique content allows genealogists, historians, and academic researchers to track the "residential genealogy" of families and locations.
  • Legacy Stories - Put the leaves on your family tree by giving voice to your ancestors. LegacyStories.Org is a social network for all things heritage. Provides a secure platform to upload stories and photos and add recorded narration. The resulting pictures, stories, and narration can be linked as source records on FamilySearch Family Tree. The site offers a full suite of exciting features, including:

◦Record oral photo narratives directly from your computer microphone. ◦Multi-media story publisher. ◦Social network for feedback and collaboration. ◦Public archives to view and share stories. ◦Five levels of privacy. ◦The Legacy Shop for heritage replayed books, DVD equipment, software, etc.

  • - Features comprehensive and exclusive British and Irish record collections dating back to the 13th century, as well as rare and unique photos and books to browse.
  • Paper Trail - Provides access to 19th-century westward American migration documents.
  • World Vital Records
  • - the database that is linked here to Ancestry, Fold3 and others!

This includes access to the International Genealogical Index (IGI) Revised - Pedigree Resource & Ancestral File submitted genealogies.

Patron Equipment Resources[edit | edit source]

Interior picture 2 of the San Diego Family History Library.JPG
  • 57 Computers
  • 10 Microfilm Readers
  • 1 Microfiche Reader
  • 2 Microfilm/fiche Printers
  • 2 Digital Microfilm/fiche high resolution scanners
  • 4 flat bed page scanners
  • 4 Multi-use Printers & Copiers. This includes scanning to pdf format via flash drive. One printer does color.
  • 2 digital cameras with monopod attachments for document scanning and general use. Ask staff.
  • 2 digital scanners for slides, negatives and small pictures.
  • Mini light table for slides and negative scanning via digital camera & smart phone. Ask staff for attachments.
  • 1 digital Kodak picture scanner system
  • 1 Oral History Room for audio and video recording and interviews. Call to reserve your spot!
  • 2 Multi-Media Classrooms (call to reserve use) - Classroom 1 is a variable configuration room with computer and projector. Classroom 2 is a fixed configuration set up like a computer lab with master computer and projector.

Please note we have many tables and chairs for individual research and smaller meetings!

Patron Research Assets[edit | edit source]

Interior picture 1 of the San Diego Family History Library.JPG

San Diego Family Search Library On Site Access

  • 40,000 Microfilm Rolls - being removed
  • New York Times Newspapers on microfilm dated 1 March 1984 to 31 Dec 2006. Located at the end and bottom of the microfilm drawers. - being removed
  • 76,000 Microfiche - being removed
  • 10,000 Books, Magazines & Publications - being removed
  • 420 Compac Discs (CDs) - being removed

Salt Lake Family History Center - Access via on-line system (now limited)

  • 2.4 Million Microfilm Rolls - Now only available at Salt Lake City, about 25% digitized.
  • 742,000 Microfiche - Now only available at Salt Lake City.
  • digital on-line records - more each month! - Note: some 75% of the collection is only available at Salt Lake City.

Oral History Studio[edit | edit source]

Our Oral History Room is available for use to create lasting legacies of sight and sound for future generations. All you need is to have a new 8 gigabyte or better (USB) flash drive and we will supply the studio equipment. Call us for an appointment!

For our Oral History Studio handout, click on the following link - here.

Some sample interview questions (55) to possibly use, click here.

Examples of open ended question can be seen here.

Patron Software Resources[edit | edit source]

The following mentioned genealogy programs are on our computers. This allows the patron to use them at the Library with their data on a flash drive, for training or for evaluation. These programs are also compatible with FamilySearch Family Tree. Except the older PAF program.

  • Ancestral Quest - Ancestral Quest is the modern version of the old Personal Ancestral File (PAF). Ancestral Quest Basics is available for FREE download. The free basic version is a full genealogical program with some of the AQ special print & web features turned off.
    Ancestral Quest now has a MAC version!!
  • Roots Magic - Roots Magic has a basic version called Roots Magic Essentials and it is available as a FREE download.
  • Legacy - Legacy has a basic version called the Legacy Standard Edition and it is available as a FREE download.
  • Personal Ancestral File (PAF) - FREE - multi-language versions available. While this program is no longer supported by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it is still popular and robust. Try down loading the (click here) for the PAF5 executable file (.exe). When the new blank web page is opened, look at the bottom of that page for the downloaded file.

PAF5 can be down loaded from various locations on line. Care is needed to download the free product only and not other products.
Another down load location for PAF5 is (click here) - There are other download locations, but use at your own risk.
We can also download a FREE PAF program to your flash drive at the library. Ask staff!.

Note: The default PAF version for the San Diego FamilySearch Library is PAF version 5. For more information about PAF, please click here.

Family Activities[edit | edit source]

Youth Program Assistance[edit | edit source]

  • Young Women Personal Progress - You have a noble responsibility to use your strength and influence for good. Let us help you achieve your Personal Progress goals. Faith Value Project: Take a family history class at the Family History Center, and collect stories of your relatives or others who have demonstrated faith. You may also interview family members or others and record their names.
    See also: Personal Progress Award.
  • Duty to God - The LDS Duty to God Certificate Requirements:
    Deacon - Family Activities:
    4. Keep a written record of your family history. Ask a parent or the temple and family history consultant to help you prepare a 4-generation pedigree chart.
    Priest - Family Activities:
    9. Submit the names of one of your ancestors for temple work or write a 500-word personal history.
    See also: Duty to God Award.

BSA[edit | edit source]

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  • Boy Scout Merit Badge in Genealogy - We can help you accomplish your BSA goals for this merit badge. Troop classes available. Fill out the Genealogy Merit Badge Worksheet. Please prepare carefully and call us for an appointment with one of our merit badge counselors. Ask for Merit Badge Counselor Donna Martin or John R. Carpenter.

Class Schedules[edit | edit source]

Classes and times at the San Diego FamilySearch Library
January - December

  • African American Research - Thursdays 7 PM to 8 PM and the second Saturday of each month 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM (April to December) - Instructor: Margaret Lewis. Margaret Lewis is President of the San Diego African American Genealogy Research Group (SD AA GRG). Her classes are open to members and community alike. Her lesson content covers all phases of African American research from African origins through migration/immigration, to slavery, reconstruction, segregation and emancipation.
  • San Diego Genealogical Society (SDGS) classes - These classes are sponsored and taught by members of the San Diego Genealogical Society. For questions, please contact the SDGS at (858) 279-7347. No pre-registration required.
    • Writing Our Family Stories - 1st & 3rd Friday of each month 10:30 AM -12:30 PM
    • FamilyTree Maker User Group - 1st Saturday of each month - 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM.
    • Computer Basics - 2nd Wednesday of each month - 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM.
    • German Interest Group - 3rd Wednesday of each month - 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM.
    • Have you hit a brick wall? Help Group - 4th Wednesday of each month (except January) - 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM.
    • Root's Magic User Group - 4th Saturday of each month 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM.
  • Ancestry - Introduction - Various instructors - daily Tuesday to Saturday - This includes learning to search, census & other records and family trees.
  • DNA Testing - Call for appointment - This introduction will help a person realize the pros and cons of DNA testing and the different DNA tests commonly used. Please see hand outs, (1) Pros & Cons of DNA testing a pdf version of the PowerPoint presentation. (2)DNA Testing - click here.
  • Digital Imaging Organization - Call for appointment - Basic digital picture organization tips. Please see the handout, click here.
  • - Introduction - Various instructors - Daily Tuesday to Saturday - This includes searching techniques, finding books, microfilm and research articles in the FamilySearch Research Wiki.
  • Family & FS Family Tree Introduction - Instructors vary - Tuesday through Saturday -  Topics covered include basic pedigree (tree) building, sourcing, correcting and merging data.
  • FS Family Tree Family Photos - Susie Aincham - Thursdays - 6 PM to 7 PM - Susie Aincham has proven to be the resident expert in adding photos and stories to your online FamilyTree file. For a fun evening, bring your family photos and let Susie help you format and install them for all your family to enjoy.
  • Indexing - Introduction - Instructors vary - Tuesday to Friday - Basic instructions on how to sign up, train and help input genealogical records!
  • KISS Genealogy - Call for appointment - Introduction, setup with quick, effective documentation of research material. Techniques once learned makes you a more efficient genealogical researcher. Please see the class handout, click here.
  • “On-Call” Consultants available for Italian, Irish, Scottish, British, Canadian, French, German, Jewish, and Spanish Research.
  • Screen Shots - various Staff - How to capture screen images and save them for your genealogy. This includes basic cropping and renaming.
  • Family Search Learning Center Family Search has produced and continues to provide professional on-line classes for Family History research. These high-quality videos are available for the rookie genealogist and the seasoned veteran alike.
  • Example: The Genealogy in 5 Minutes playlist demonstrates how, in just a few minutes, individuals with little or no genealogy experience can make some headway on their family’s history.  Getting Started  & Five Minute Geneology
  • The Family History Guide - online basic, intermediate and advanced training in genealogy and family history. Click on this link.

Neighboring Collections[edit | edit source]

  • The San Diego Genealogical Council calendar is at: THIS LINK. Scroll down the page for more info.
  • The San Diego Genealogical Society has moved and merged their genealogical collection into the downtown San Diego City Library.

Their main web page is now at: HERE! and their Research and Resource page is at: THIS LINK.

Latter-day Saint collections[edit | edit source]

Other links[edit | edit source]

Volunteer at the Library![edit | edit source]

Anyone who is interested in teaching and helping others about genealogy and family history are invited to volunteer at our Library. All you need is a willingness to help others, learn and follow our general guidelines. To learn more, call us at: (619) 584-7668 and ask how you can help others by volunteering.

Picture Gallery[edit | edit source]

Hours and Holidays
Patron Resources
Genealogy Research

Facebook[edit | edit source]

We are now on Facebook! See: