Fresno California East Family History CenterEdit This Page

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Center Contacts and Hours

Location Map:


  • 1880 Gettysburg Ave Clovis CA 93611 United States
  • Language: English


  • 1-559-291-2448


Center Director

  • William Holden (559) 292-1658

Open Hours:

  • Tuesday 10:00am-3:00pm and 6:30pm-9:00pm
  • Wednesday 10:00am-3:00pm and 6:30pm-9:00pm
  • Thursday 10:00am-3:00pm and 6:30pm-9:00pm

Holiday Schedule:

Closed December 16th through January 1st:

Calendar and Events

Fresno Regional Family History Discovery Day, May 16, 2015 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m at the Fresno West Stake Center

Classes include:

  • Family Tree on Family Search by Diana Mulligan
  • Partner Websites by Kathy Burrow
  • by Kathy Burrow
  • How to Index by Richard Roach & assistants
  • Research Tips by Deanne Moore
  • Sources and Record Hints in Family Tree by Deanne Moore
  • by Robert Givens
  • Scanning and Digitizing Photos and Slides by Bill Vaughan class
  • Family History Blogs, Online Trees, and Other Social Media Tools for Genealogy by Jana Last
  • My Family: Stories That Bring Us Together by Barbara Washburn
  • Your Family Stories by Brock Heasley
  • Indexing Marathon by Louise Autenrieb assistants

RootsTech Video Archive 2015

Keynote Session Addresses by Dennis Brimhall, Mike Mallin, Tan Le; Link:

30 Pieces of Tech I Can't Live Without by D. Joshua Taylor-Link:

You've Mastered the Census and Basic Search, What Next? by Karen Auman; Link:

What's New at FamilySearch by Devin Ashby; Link:

Getting Started in Genetic Genealogy by Diahan Southard; Link:

Building a Genealogy Research Toolbox by Thomas MacNetee; Link:

Bring Your Ancestor Back to the Future by Anne Leishman; Link:

The Write Stuff. Leaving a Recorded Legacy: Personal Histories, Journals, Diaries, and Letters by Valerie Elkins; Link:

Family History on the Go Using Phones and Tablet Apps byRhonna Farrer, Crystal Beutler; Link:

Personal History Triage: How to Tell the Best Ten Stories of Your Life by Alison Taylor; Link:

Finding Your Family On by Peter Drinkwater; Link:

Consultant Training: Using FamilySearch Partners by Craig Miller; Link:

FamilySearch Family Tree 2014 and Beyond by Ron Tanner; Link:

Getting the Most Out of by Crista Cowan, Juliana Szucs; Link:

Discover New Research Opportunities with the MyHeritage and FamilySearch Partnership by Mark Olsen; Link:

Finding the Living Among the Dead: Using the Internet to Find Your Living Cousins by Amy Archibald


From Machine-Checkable Proofs to Purple Prose: Levels of Rigor in Family History Software by Luther Tychonievich; Link:

Reimagining the Family Tree by Harrison Tang; Link:

Class Schedule

Family Search Learning Center:

Did you know that you can take courses on how to do family history research right here on These courses are one of our hidden gems.

Our new Learning Center makes it easier for you to find courses of interest to you. You can search by keywords and use filters. The Learning Center also highlights recommended and popular courses.

Familysearch Learning Center


Introduction to Hispanic Research

Course Description: This webinar is desgined for those who are just getting started with Hispanic Research. The research process, research logs, search tips, finding aids, and language aids will be presented along with a case study. The class also discusses the important record types for researchers lookin for ancestors in Mexicon, Latin America and Spain.

Link to course:

Manual Separation Process for Separating Incorrectly Combined Records in Family Tree

Descriptiion to course: Instructions to correctly combine NFS records that were transferred into Family Tree containing vital information and relationships that apply to more than one person. The goal of Family Tree is to have a single record for each single person. Therefore, the incorrectly combined NFS record needs to have the combined identities manually separated into separate Family Tree Records.

Link to course:

Duplicates in Family Tree

Description of course: Why are there duplicates for the same person in Family Tree? What do I do with these duplicate records. How do I merge or combine these records into one record? Kathryn Grant provides information about these questions.

Link to course:  https:/ center/lesson/duplicates-in-family-tree/927

Easy Steps to Descendancy Research- Video (4 minutes)

Course Description: Descendancy Research is the process of finding all the descendants (children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, etc.) of one of your ancestors. Descendancy research is a great way of connecting with living relatives and gives you ithe opporunity to continue learning about your family even if research on your ancestral line has stalled. This lesson will give you step by step instructions on how to research descendanats using the resources of

Link to course:

Descendancy Research- video and slides (40 minutes)

Course Description: This lesson will help you learn what descendancy researchis, how to choose an ancestor, and then collect previous research about that ancestor.

Link to course:

Finding Our Cousins: Introduction to

Course Description: Your fan chart is full! Does that mean your family history is done? Learn how to use to help you continue to build your family tree.

Link to course:

Family Tree: Sourcing- Document in Family Search to a Source

Description of course: This lesson discusses how to attach a source from Family Search to an individual in Family Tree.

Link to course:

Staff Training Meetings

Ten top things that family history consultants should learn:

Center Resources


  • FamilySearch Catalog: This center has the ability to order any of the films and fiche available through the FamilySearch Catalog.

Databases and Software

  • FHC Portal This center has access to the Family History Center Portal page which gives free access in the center to premium family history software and websites that generally charge for subscriptions.

Hardware and Equipment

  • Our Family History Center has 18 separate computer stations; one microfilm copier; two microfilm readers; one microfische reader, and a copy/scanning machine.
Thanks to the efforts of Dennis McCauley and Bill Holden, we have one of the best family history centers set up in the Fresno Region. The Stake has recently increased the size of our internet bandwidth so our computers are able to connect much quicker to family history websites that in the past.
Due to the large number of individual computer stations, our Center offers an excellent facility to bring groups of ten to fifteen individuals at a time for family history training. We would request that if your Priesthood Quorum, or mutual class, or other organization bring in a group for training purposes, that you call Brother Bill Holden, the family HIstory director at 559-292- 1658 so that we can schedule adequate staff to assist patrons on a one to one basis.

For youth groups, we request that the youth have their LDS accounts set up before coming to the Library so that time may be more fully devoted to helping them find names to take to the temple rather than setting up their accounts.

Center Services

Staff Research Specialties

Richard and Carolyn Roach~Stake Index Leaders~559-292-6255

Bill Holden~Family History Director~works Tuesday nights at FHL; phone 559-292-1658

Elder David Grenier- FamilySearch Support Missionary, works Thursday night at FHL; phone 559-297-1345; e-mail address:

Rebecca Shiner~Eastern Prussia; Great Britian Research~ 559-346-1390

Bishop Dan Winiecke~ Polish Russian Research~559-903-0605

Patrick Cummings~Leeds & Grenville Counties, Ontario; New York Research~559-346-1259

Leon Papin- French Canadian Research~559-346-9620

Jane Moffitt~Great Britian Research~works Tues. Mornings at FHL; 559-412-4267

Bill Vaughn~Fresno East Stake FHL printing specialist- works Thursday night at FHL; phone 559-298-8345

Jana Last~Family History Blogger specialist~291-6375

Steve Research~works Wed. Evenings at FHL; 559-291-7363

Resources in the Local Area

American Historical Society of Germans From Russia:

Their purpose is purely historical by doing genealogical research of our German from Russia forefathers, as well as reuniting with living relatives, recording and preserving historical facts.

Genealogy Research Library and Museum

Library Hours: Tuesday to Friday 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m., Closed Saturday to Monday

Tours and/or Personal Research by appoitnment

Central California Chapter, 3233 N. West Ave, Fresno, CA 93705-3402

Phone: 559-229-8287 Email:

The Heritage Center ~San Joaquin Valley Heritage and Genealogical Center~Central Branch- 2420 Mariposa St., Fresno, CA. 559-600-6230;


Mon-Thurs 10am to 7 pm

Friday, Sat 10am to 5 pm

Sun 12 noon to 5pm


  • California vital record indexes, cenuses Great Registers
  • City Directories and Telephone Books for Fresno More
  • Orbituary File
  • Yearbooks from local area schools and colleges
  • online resources including ancestry library edition
  • newspapers: local and California dating back to the 1850's
  • Maps: Fresno, San Joaquin Valley and parts of California
  • Postcard and Photograph collection
  • William Saroyan Collection
  • Oral Histories

For a more complete list of Resources, go to:

Daughters of Utah Pioneers:

C.L. Fancher Camp meets in Clovis on the third Thursday at noon.

Lydia McCauley Camp meets in Fresno on the 2nd Thursday at 10:30 a.m.

Camp Sugar Pine meets in Oakhurst on the 2nd Monday at noon.

For more information, contact Sonja Kland 559-224-5236

International Society of Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 300 N. Main, Salt Lake City, UT 84103-1699"

Fresno County Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 1429, Fresno, CA 93716-1429; Phone no 559-600-6230

FCGS meets on the 2nd Tuesday of the month in Feb-July, Sept and Nov. at 6:30 p.m. in the Woodward Park Library located at 944 E. Perrin (at Champlain).

Meetings feature speakers on a variety of topics of genealogical and historical interest.

Save the Date! October 17, 2015; Lisa Louise Cook, host of the Genealogy Gems podcast, author, blogger, and national speaker, Lisa has spoken for the Southern California Genealogy Society's Jamboree, RootsTech, Who Do You Think You Are? We are pleased to bring Lisa to the valley. Look for more information on our website, 

Our website:

Want to make a donation to the Church History Library? Contact Church History Library Donations;

Acquistions hotline 1-801-240-5696. Will accept journals manuscripts, books, letters, museum items with historical value with LDS content. E-mail inquiries to:



On Tuesday, Dec. 23rd, Family Search released a new update of the hinting data view able on an ancestor's detail page and in the descendancy view in the Family Tree. In this data update, newly added or changed persons in the Family Tree have been hinted using all the newly available information. It also includes important new record sets, such as the Find-A-Grave collection, that have been recently published.

Additionally, engineers and architects have made numerous advancements in the software algorithms which makes it possible for more than 14 million new hints to be identified. Users of the Family Tree may wish to visit their ancestor pages again and see if any new hints are displayed.

We are excited as our users are about the accuracy and efficiency that these new tools provide., both the task of doing research, as well as the quality of the information found in Family Tree. In the days since this data release, users have set new daily highs in the number of sources they have attached to the Family Tree and the number of new persons added to the tree from historical records. With the vast number of daily additions to the Family Tree tied to historical documents, the Family Tree is becoming one of the largest and most accurate genealogical trees in the world. These new tools enable many new people to become engaged in Family History Work. We invite all who have used the new tools and hints to share their skills and love of this work with other friends and family members so that we can help accelerate this great work.

PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WITH FAMILY TREE HINTS: I have been searching for years the names of other siblings of my great great grandfather, Samuel Mecham. I knew from the 1820, 1830, and 1840 census records of McKean Township, Erie County, Pennsylvania that his father Elam Mecham and his second wife Sarah had at least three daughters and two sons in this second family for Elam, including my ancestor, Samuel Mecham, but I had been unable to locate any records of these other siblings. In June of 2014, I went to the family tree page of Elam Mecham Sr. and there was a hint for me to check the 1855 New York State Census of Charlotte Township, Chautauquia County, New York. It had never occurred to me to check the census records of this county, though it was a neighboring county of Erie, Pennsylvania, just across the New York state line. I had never come across any links in directing me to check this particular census record [primarily because Ancestry had not yet uploaded this particular collection in their vast census collections.] To my great joy, I found as I openned up this particular record, I found the names of Elam Mecham Sr. and his second wife Sarah, residing in the home of Joseph and Betsy Gillett. This particular census record stated that Elam and Sarah Mecham were the inlaws of Joseph Gillet. Upon subsequent review of records in this region, I found the marriage record of Joseph Gillet to Betsy Mecham.

Subsequent research in other historical documents has led to the discovery of another daughter, Mehitabel Mecham Horton, residing in the Charlotte Township regions. I have since submitted the names of these two newly found families for temple work. Had it not been for the family tree hint that I came across on the family tree page of Elam Mecham Sr., I would have not been led to this important census record, which yielded so much more important information on the identity of these two missing sisters to my great great grandfather, Samuel Mecham. ~Submitted by Steve Mecham, Jan. 17, 2015

My Hertitage and RootsMagic 7 partnership. “My heritage” one of the access partners to FamilySearch has joined in collaboration with users of “RootsMagic” 7 to provide immediate notification of clues regarding individuals entered into the data bank of “RootsMajic” version 7. This enables RootsMagic users to discover the life stories of their ancestors thanks to highly accurate matching between their family trees and millions of family trees and billions of global historical records available on MyHeritage.

Personal experience: In a previous blog, I had posted how the new hints feature on “Family Search” had helped me discover the identity of three siblings to my great great grandfather, Samuel Mecham. More recently, I have been doing some descendancy research, searching out more details of Samuel Mecham’s niece, Agnes Tyler, of whom I figured had never married. I went to “Family Search” under Agnes’s profile page and clicked records, and there found a Wisconsin Marriage record showing the marriage of Agnes to a James A. Little in 1883. I entered this new information in to RootsMagic 7 and then attempted to find James and Agnes Tyler Little in on doing a census search. I was unsuccessful on my first attempts. Later on in the day, I came back to the information that I had entered in RootsMagic on Agnes Tyler and there was the “My Heritage” little yellow “light bulb” icon” next to Agnes Tyler’s name, indicating that “My Heritage” had discovered a new hint source for me to check. When I clicked on the “My Heritage” light bulb icon, it opened up to a web page leading me to a 1900 census record of a James and Agnes Tyler, residing in Sargent, Custer, Nebraska. As I checked this new record in ancestry, I found that the information was correct and this was the family that I was looking for. I had missed this family before in doing my initial census search in ancestry as James Little was eleven years younger than his wife, Agnes Tyler Little. I was amazed as to how quickly the “My Heritage” icon appeared next to the name of Agnes Tyler in RootsMagic, considering that I had only entered the name just hours before. It is an amazing advance in usage of technology, helping us to better identify records to our ancestors. submitted by Steve Mecham, March 17, 2015

The Benefits of Writing a Genealogy Blog By Jana Last

Have you heard about genealogy blogs? Have you thought about beginning your own genealogy blog? Genealogy blogs are a great way to share information about our ancestors. I began my genealogy blog in April of 2012 and have found so many benefits from sharing information about my ancestors in my blog. Here are some of the benefits I've found over the years:

• My blog acts as cousin bait, which means that if a relative of mine searches for one of our common ancestors on the internet, they may find my blog and contact me. I've had this happen several times. I recently had a previously unknown cousin who lives in Brazil contact me. He shared a photo of my great-grandfather with me that I’d never seen before. Blogs have a global reach. They can be read by people all over the world, which is amazing.

• Writing about my ancestors helps me to better analyze the research I have about them.

• Writing about my ancestors helps me to get to know them better. It's fascinating to learn about them. It also helps me to appreciate them and what they experienced during their lives.

• My immediate and extended family members near and far can learn about their ancestors by reading my blog. And hopefully my future descendants will read my blog and enjoy learning about their ancestors too.

• Even if distant cousins don't contact me when and if they find my blog, the information, stories, and photos I share may be helpful and interesting to them. They may see a photo of an ancestor that they'd never seen before. I know how exciting that can be.

• Each person in my family tree deserves to be remembered. And writing about them in a genealogy blog is a great way to remember them.

• I've made lots of genealogy blogging friends online. These friends are from all over the world. There's an active online genealogy blogging community and its members are very kind and helpful.

• Blogging about ancestors is fun!


Indexing is More Important Now Than Ever Before
February 4, 2015 By Michael Judson

FamilySearch researchers are constantly looking for ways to improve the efficiency of the indexing process, and they are also discovering ways to make better use of indexing work that has already been performed. The results of their research should warm the heart of every person who has ever indexed or arbitrated a batch of records.

If you read the article titled, “Magnifying Volunteers’ Gifts: A Progress Report,” you would recognize some of the innovative ways FamilySearch is making indexing much more efficient. Now there are more exciting developments that make even better use of the records that have already been indexed.

Searching, Hinting, and Descendancy Research

Indexing makes records searchable. You already know that untold thousands of people benefit from what your good work is making possible. As one grateful family researcher put it, “An unindexed record is an unfindable record.” Well, thanks to you and hundreds of thousands of volunteers like you, the days of unindexed records are numbered.

But what if you could get the computer to do the searching for you? What if the computer was bringing your ancestors to you instead of you having to go out and find them yourself? That day is now here thanks to a marvelous new capability on FamilySearch called “hinting.”

Hinting is when the computer looks at the information in your family tree and compares it against the information in the FamilySearch database—all 3 billion+ records! When it finds a record that matches most or all of the information about an ancestor in your tree, it is posted as a “hint” to new information about that person.

Now, how does the computer know that a record is related to one of your ancestors? You guessed it—it’s because someone took the time to index that record!

Maybe you've also seen the new descendancy view of your family tree, where you can look at the descendants of your ancestors to find missing cousins. This powerful new feature makes it easy to find the names of relatives who have been lost or forgotten but who belong to your family and in your family tree.

And how is this happening? Again, indexing makes it possible!

Indexing is vital to the future of family history, but now it’s becoming really vital. Like seeds planted in good soil, your indexing efforts are multiplying, and the Internet is being flooded with freely searchable records as a result. Thank you for being one who is making such a huge difference to those who are looking to make those amazing connections to their past.

– Article by Michael Judson

Personal experience with the benefits of indexing and how it has helped me expand my family Tree by Richard Roach

My Grandmother, Nana as we called her, was born 23 September 1886. She was the second of two children born to Philip Henry and Georgina Emma Brown. Soon after her birth her mother decided to start a new life without her family. Her father was a Colonel and an engineer in the English Army and was gone for many days at a time. So he shipped Nana and her brother Robert to England to be raised by his brother’s family. They both attended boarding school, traveling home to their Uncle’s on vacation and holidays. The months turned to years and for these two children, a bond was formed that would last a lifetime and across many continents. Nana traveled to America in the early 1900’s and her brother stayed in England. Soon they both married started families. Nana’s brother Robert and his family moved to Australia. In their letters back and forth and through two World Wars they kept in touch and up to date with each other’s family. One question which they discussed a few times was who their mother was and what her name was? They both had birth certificates from India. Their mother’s name was spelled differently on both certificates. On Robert’s his mother’s name was Georgina and on Nana’s it was Georgiana Emma. But what is her last name, and her family?

In one letter to Nana in 1947, Robert wrote that his father had been married three times.

In this letter he shed new light on their Dad and Mom. Dad had been married three times. Their mother was his second wife. But as to her maiden name he did not know. This was a mystery that she would share with her daughter, my Aunt Joyce before her death in 1977. A few years after I joined the church, my wife and I joined the effort to solve this mystery. What was my great grandmother’s last name? Aunt Joyce went to Australia and to England to search for information and living relatives. She came back with stories but no facts and no lost relatives being found. Aunt Joyce is older now and not able to travel. The last place she thought might shed some light on the subject was to visit the place Nana was born and that meant a trip to India.

Well one day in May of last year Carolynn was Indexing on the computer so I decided to surf and check out the possible “hints” they had on my family. I clicked on my Great-grandmother’s name and they said they might have a marriage record for Georgina Emma. I got very excited as I clicked on the link and found a marriage document from India. It was for a Georgina Emma Whannell, to her second husband, John Battie. As part of the document her first husband was also listed, a Philip Henry Brown. That was the proof I needed, the name I needed, to solve the family mystery that had lasted 128 years!

The marriage record had been indexed in 2013, and released in 2014. I called Aunt Joyce right away and shared the good news! She feels it was a miracle, as do I, and I feel it was a blessing from a loving Heavenly Father, who wants the work connecting us to our ancestors to go forward. We have added three more generations to our family name and new stories to our family history.


What's new at Family Search?:

Discover Your Ancestors in Obituaries;

LDS Church Members~ Create your own personal accounts with " ; "find my past"; and "my heritage" for free. See: Familysearch Partner Access

Download your own free copy of "48 Research Tips" in available PDF file: Family tree magazine free-ancestry-search-tips

BYU Relative Finder~ Relative finder is a place where you can find how you are related to the world. Discover connections between you, presidents, prophets, and your families.

A little known program of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provides genealogy information that may be difficult or impossible to obtain elsewhere. The records include naturalization files, visa applications, and citizenship tests, and may reveal family secrets and mysteries. In addition to relatives, historians or researchers can also request files.

Under the USCIS Genealogy Progam, which started in 2008, requests are usually completed within 30 days. The government will run a search of the name, as long as the person is deceased. If there are records available, the government charges additional fees for the files. The fee for a record copy from microfilm identified as (M) is $20 per request. The fee for a copy of a hard copy file identified as (HC) is $35 per request. More information about the fees associated with each file series may be found at USCIS Government History Genealogy Records.

The documents typically include immigration information, often (but not always) including exact hometowns in their ancestors native countries. The files often have information on brothers, sisters, aunts, and uncles. Many times it is useful to obtain the records of your uncles, aunts, and cousins who also immigrated from "the old country."

If the immigrant applied for American citizenship, the details are also included in these files. For anyone of Japanese, German, or Italian origin who lived in the United States during World War II, the documents often include FBI reports about the person's activities, including friends, family, and political activities.

For more information about the program, check out USCIS Government Genealogy.

Using Free Message boards in Genealogy Research~ Genealogy Revelations Using-free-message-boards-in-genealogy-research

The National Archives~Resources for Genealogists~ Archives Government Research Genealogy

How to Submit Temple names through

New Audio File Feature Helps You Teach Others About Their Ancestors:

Consultant Webinar Series:

5 Minute Genealogy Episode 1: Quick Start:

5 Minute Genealogy Episode 2: The Research Process:

5 Minute Genealogy Episode 3: Record What You Know:

5 Minute Genealogy Episode 4: Learn from Family:

5 Minute Genealogy Episode 5: Choose an Ancestor and Question:

'5 Minute Genealogy Episode 6: 'Locate Where Your Ancestor Lived:

5 Minute Genealogy Episode 7: Records, an  Introduction;

'5 Minute Genealogy Episode 8:'Find a Record:

'5 Minute Genealogy Episode 9:'Using Indexes to Find a Record:

'5 Minute Genealogy Episode 10:'Using Name Variations to Find a Record:

'5 Minute Genealogy Episode 11:'Find Help from Others Online:

5 Minute Genealogy Episode 12: Write It Down:

'5 Minute Genealogy Episode 13:'Organize Your Records:

5 Minute Genealogy Episode 14: Understand how records are created:

5 Minute Genealogy Episode 15: Share with Others:

5 Minute Genealogy Episode 16: Completing Your Research:

5 Minute Genealogy Episode 17: Get Help In-Person:

5 Minute Genealogy Episode 18: Get Help from Others Researching the Same Name:

5 Minute Genealogy Episode 19: I Want to Interview a Living Relative:

5 Minute Genealogy Episode 20: I Want to Learn More About Sourcing:

5 Minute Genealogy Episode 21: Indexing, I want to help:

Making family History Fun for children:



Magazines Friend-July-2013-07-31-familysearch-sleuth





Kids Family Tree Magazine

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  • This page was last modified on 30 March 2015, at 03:24.
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