Saturday, May 2, 2015


FamilySearch and the FamilySearch logo are trademarks of Genealogical Society of Utah

Maybe you’ve used this site for years.  Perhaps you are new to genealogy and have only recently begun using this site?  There are usually many methods used by genealogists to get the most from their searches.  We learn these over time, by trial and error or from someone else with more experience.

This is the method I use when I want to search a specific set of records on Family Search.  Whether you want to search in one of the 50 states, Canada, Europe or Asia, the method is the same.

From the home page, click on “Search” and then “Records.”

You will see this screen (Click on any image to enlarge it)

FS screen 1

Now go to the map and hover over an area you want to search.  You will see that the areas will change from grey to yellow.  Click on the yellow area you want to search.

I chose the United States and this is how my screen now looks:

FS -2

Once you click on that yellow area you will see a drop down list with all the locations for that area.  In this case all 50 states.  I chose Michigan and this is what I see.

Michigan records on familysearch

Next I selected “Start researching in Michigan.”

You will see the screen shown below.  Notice that only a few records are shown on the list at the bottom.  I want to see all the Michigan records, so I select “Show all 58 Collections.”  This will take you to a complete list.

FS-3 michigan records

Here is a sample of a portion of that complete list.  As you can see you can use the boxes on the left of the record collection to select only one or several of the collections in which to conduct your search.

 FS - 4
Here are the things you learn from viewing this complete list:
  • Which records are available
  • How many records are in the collection
  • When the collection was last updated
  • Whether the collection has images or not (by the little camera on the right of the last column)
As you scroll down this page the next thing you will see is a list of the Michigan Image Only Historical Records.  This means there is no index for these records and you must browse the entire collection page by page.  Again, you see how many images are in the collection and when it was last updated.


This is an excellent way to check the site from time to time and see what collections have been recently updated.  Maybe it’s time to go back and look through the collection again?

TIP:  Make use of the Wiki on this site.  You find it from the home page, by clicking on “search” and then “wiki” in the dropdown list.  I went to the Wiki and put in the word Michigan.  Then I selected “Military Records.”  What I got was an incredible list of resources, links and information.  Since it is too long for me to include on this page, here is the link so you can see what I’m talking about

Another great resource for finding specific records is Cyndi’s List.  You can search the site alphabetically and she has, as of this date, 333,397 links.  The site is constantly being updated.
I hope you’ve found this post helpful.

Family Search - Going back & getting those other pages

How to Find Probate Records Online

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2015   Diane Gould Hall


  1. Very helpful post. I learned a lot. Thank you for sharing it. I wanted to tell you that I've included it in my NoteWorthy Reads post for this week:

    1. Jo,
      Thanks for your comment. It's always a good feeling, when we, as bloggers, write a post that helps others. And thank you so much for the shout out in Note Worthy reads. A mention on your blog is always an honor.


I look forward to reading your comments. If you have any connection to the people mentioned in this blog, please let me know. I write about mine and my husband's ancestors and would welcome new information or meeting a new cousin or two. Thanks for visiting and come back soon.