Live Research Assistance: Help for answering questionsEdit This Page

From FamilySearch Wiki

Revision as of 19:53, 9 January 2013 by Micdoy (Talk | contribs)
You may have some of the following questions as you begin helping others:


  • What information should I gather at the beginning of a call?
  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. Help them understand that they need a focused goal, not "I want to know about my grandmother" but "I want to know where was my grandmother born."
  • What records does FamilySearch have online?
  • Where does FamilySearch keep research guidance information?
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 page:

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 or Forums.
  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 Example:
  • 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.

See Also: 

Getting Started

Helpful Resources


Join our Skype Group
Communicate with other volunteers, get help as you give help


Steps to check in  
And begin receiving calls


Steps for taking calls
Taking and transferring calls


Set/Update Schedule
To set or update your volunteer schedule



Learn more about the opportunity


Research Toolkit
Research resources


Phone Responses
Ideas for responses to patron questions


Not a research call?
We answer ALL research calls; check here for answers to non-research questions.


Questions you may have
As you begin helping others

Read these Definitions
These will explain terms that you may not recognize.

Help online classes.png

Webinar recordings
Listen to previous trainings (again and again, if needed)


Additional ways you can help
Volunteer in other ways

Not yet a volunteer research consultant? Learn more about what volunteers do.


Need wiki, indexing, or website help? Contact our product teams.

Did you find this article helpful?

You're invited to explain your rating on the discussion page (you must be signed in).