San Diego California FamilySearch Library
4195 Camino Del Rio South, San Diego, CA 92108
(East side of building)
Directors: Dan and Leticia Speer
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 birth, marriage and death information.
Don't forget to bring a flash drive!
A nominal fee is charged for printing.
- 1 Calendar of Events
- 2 On-site Free Internet Access for Genealogy Research
- 3 Patron Equipment Resources
- 4 Patron Software Resources
- 5 Family Activities
- 6 Youth Program Assistance
- 7 Class Schedules 2016
- 8 FHC online Portal
- 9 Neighboring Collections
- 10 Latter-day Saint collections
- 11 Other links
- 12 Volunteer at the Library!
Calendar of Events
We provide a calendar of our activities at the Library. Click on the hyperlink for the current calendar of events.
Hours and Holidays
- Language: primary English, some Spanish, a little ASL and a hodgepodge of this and that.
Holiday Schedule for 2016 - Closed on April 2, October 1, November 22-26, and December 20-31, 2016
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
- 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 - "NewspaperArchive.com 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.
- Ancestry.com - 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 Footnote.com) – 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 FamilySearch.org.
- 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.
- Origins.net - 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
- Familysearch.org - 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
- 57 Computers
- 10 Microfilm Readers
- 1 Microfiche Reader
- 2 Microfilm/fiche Printers
- 2 Digital Microfilm/fiche Scanners
- 4 page scanners
- 4 Multi-use Printers & Copiers
- 2 digital cameras with monopod attachments for document scanning
- 1 digital scanner for slides, negatives and small pictures (under 5x7")
- 1 digital Kodak picture scanner system
- 1 video recording room
- 2 Multi-Media Classrooms (call to reserve use)
- Many tables and chairs for research and smaller meetings!
Patron Research Assets
San Diego Family Search Library On Site Access
- 40,000 Microfilm Rolls
- 76,000 Microfiche
- 10,000 Books, Magazines & Publications
- 420 Compac Discs (CDs)
Salt Lake Family History Center - Access via on-line system
- 2.4 Million Microfilm Rolls
- 742,000 Microfiche
- digital on-line records - more each month!
Patron Software Resources
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. It can be down loaded from various locations on line. Care is needed to download the free product only and not other products.
One down load location for PAF5 is here (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 Reunions
- Family History Activities for Children: 3-11
- Family History Activities for Youth: 12-?
- Personal History - Family Activities
- Youth and Family Summer Challenge -Family History
- Involve Children and Youth in Family History
- Photos – An Innovative Way to Introduce Youth to Family History
- Family History Activities for Youth
Youth Program Assistance
- Youth Family History Consultant Training - All welcome.
- 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 ward 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 - Duty to God requirements - for all Scouts.
- 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 McCollum or Carpenter.
Class Schedules 2016
- African American Research - Thursdays - 7 PM to 8 PM 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 Institution.com - Introduction - Various instructors - daily Tuesday to Saturday - This includes learning to search, census & other records and family trees.
- DNA Testing - John R. Carpenter - Saturday AMs or by appointment - This introduction will help a person realize the pros and cons of different DNA testing with genealogy.
- Family Search.org & FS Family Tree Introduction - Instructors vary - Tuesday through Saturday - Topics covered include basic pedigree 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 - John R. Carpenter- Saturday AM or by appointment - Introduction, setup with quick, effective documentation of research material. Techniques once learned makes you a more efficient genealogical researcher. To see the class handout, click here.
- New Family History Consultant Training - (Call for appointment)
- “On-Call” Consultants available for Italian, Irish, Scottish, British, Canadian, French, German, Jewish, and Spanish Research.
- On-Film ordering - Basic instructions for the on-line microfilm and microfiche ordering. Handout available.
- Screen Shots - Staff - How to capture screen images and save them for your genealogy. This includes basic cropping and renaming.
- Spanish Genealogical Research - Contact staff - New instructor needed! - Todo el mundo es bienvenido y bien recibido!
FHC online Portal
Use the following link to go to the general Family History Center online portal for Genealogical Resources, Classes & Workshops & One-on-One Assistance.
- 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.
- The California State Archives and Libraries provides access to California births, marriages and death records.
- The San Diego County Library system has an area of computer genealogical support within the 33 branches of the County Library system.
- The San Diego City Public Library system has a large Genealogical Section in its main Library downtown and computer genealogical support in all of its 35 City Library branches.
Latter-day Saint collections
- Church History Library, Salt Lake City, LDS history 1830-now: diaries, manuscripts, Church records, photos, oral history, architectural drawings, pamphlets, newspapers, periodicals, maps, microforms, audiovisual material.
- Daughters of Utah Pioneers, SLC, the Museum displays artifacts, and the History Department collects and preserves about 100,000 histories of pioneers who set out for, settled, or were born in Utah by 10 May 1869.
- Utah State Historical Society, SLC, family histories, photographs, books, manuscript collections, telephone directories, maps, newspapers, yearbooks, and periodicals are available in the Research Center and online.
- Why Family History is Important
- California California Family History Resource Page
- Family History Centers There are over 4,000 smaller family history centers operating in more than 100 countries. Local FamilySearch Libraries are staffed by helpful volunteers. These Libraries are branches of the Family History Library.
- Family Search WIKI Research your family history, related topics and about where to find help in research. You will learn and those willing to contribute specialized knowledge are welcome to contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki.
- 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
Volunteer at the Library!
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.