Live Research Assistance: Consultant resourcesEdit This Page

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Revision as of 21:05, 30 March 2012 by VasquezJL (Talk | contribs)

This page gives information and resources to volunteers who are answering patron questions as part of our Live Ohio or 1940 Research Help pilots.


Sign In to Take Calls

1940 Census

  1. Go to the 1940 Census website.
  2. Scroll down and click on Research Consultant Check in under the red Get Assistance button
  3. Sign in with your LDS or FamilySearch Account
  4. Check that the correct phone number is listed
  5. Click Start receiving calls
  6. When you are done volunteering for the day, click Stop receiving calls (the button will turn green)


  1. Go to FamilySearch Labs
  2. Click Ohio Research Assistance
  3. Click Volunteers: Sign in to begin to receive calls
  4. Check that the correct phone number is listed
  5. Click Start receiving calls
  6. When you are done volunteering for the day, click Stop receiving calls (the button will turn green)

Answering questions


  • Question.png
    What should I do to prepare to help?
  1. Watch one of the following training webinars we held:
  2. Learn about through these online videos
  3. Be sure you are in our Skype groups
  4. For 1940 Volunteers:
  5. For Ohio Volunteers:
    • Become familiar with the Ohio pages in the Research Wiki. See below.

  • What information should I gather first on a call?
When answering a question, it helps to get some information right at the beginning:
  1. Their objective for their research.
  2. The locality where their ancestor lived.
  3. The time period when their ancestor lived in that locality.
  4. The record or type of information that you want to find. For example, you want the parents' names, or a birth date or place, or the spouse's full name.
If they are unsure about dates and places, they will need to come forward a generation and choose an ancestor about whom they have more information. Knowing about a more recent ancestor will give them a place to start to look for an earlier generation.
  • What records does FamilySearch have online?
  • Great research guidance - the Wiki
The FamilySearch Research Wiki is a great starting place when helping a patron. Pages are created for the various jurisdictions where records could exist. Check for records in all areas.
For 1940 questions, there are many wiki pages, this is the main one:

If you are searching for someone who lived in Adams County, Ohio, you can check:

  • What do I do when I don't know how to help the patron?
  1. Ask in one of our Skype groups.
  2. Walk the patron to one of these resources, depending on what they are comfortable with, to have them ask the question here:
Ohio Specific Resources:

Skype - Communicating with other volunteers 

If you are interested in talking with other volunteers as you serve, you can join a Skype group where we can talk and help each other.
To join the Skype group:
  1. Download the Skype program at and register for an account.
  2. Add the contact "" to your Skype contact list. Mention whether we should add you to the 1940 or Ohio chats.
    (see instructions for adding contacts)
  3. When you volunteer, feel free to chat and ask questions of other volunteers. We’re all in this together!
    (see instructions for sending a message)
  4. When you get a call, share with the Skype group what the question was about so we can all learn from each other what kinds of calls we are getting.
  5. Learn more about Skype in the Skype User's Guide.


Policies & Procedures

  • How much time should I spend with each researcher?
There could be a wide range, and lots of exceptions to this general rule, but if you are spending much more than 30 minutes with a patron, you may want to refer them to other places for additional help. Our goal is to teach the researcher something that will help them learn how to research in the future rather than do all the work for them.
  • I do genealogy work professionally. Can I tell researchers about that?
We don't want to mix these free services with discussions about professional work. In the future, we will discuss possible referral procedures if researchers are asking for professional assistance.


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