Last April, I wrote about researching at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Although I highly recommend making that trip, it is not practical to expect that we can travel to Salt Lake City whenever we want to do research.
The Family History Library has branch facilities which are called Family History Centers. There are about 3700 of these branches in 88 countries around the world. These centers are located in meeting houses of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and are operated by the local Church members. Although the centers are in church facilities, don’t worry about being solicited about their religion.
What can you expect at a Family History Center? First, you must visit the Family History Centers, they do not do research through mail or e-mail. The centers are free and everyone is welcome. Each center is run by volunteers. The volunteers will provide an orientation to the resources of the center and can assist by answering basic research questions.
Family History Centers have a collection of computer files that help search for information on ancestors. They include the International Genealogical Index (IGI), Ancestral File, and the Social Security Death Index. The Family History Library and the Family History Centers have material on persons who are dead, not living people. And contrary to popular belief, they do not have everyone’s family tree already done so that all you have to do is go in and pick it up.
What the Family History Library and centers have are millions of books, microfilms, and microfiche to assist you in your family history search. The Family History Library has sent people all over the world microfilming and collecting records. These records are catalogued in the Family History Library Catalog. The catalog is accessible on the web as well as at the Family History Centers. This collection consists of family histories, birth, marriage, death, bible, church, land, probate, military, immigration, and census records. You can search the catalog by authors, surnames, subjects and locality.
Most Family History Centers are not big and they do not have large permanent collections. Microfilm and microfiche are ordered from Salt Lake City and are loaned to individual centers, through orders made by patrons. Each film loaned costs $3.50 and is housed at the center for about three weeks. The time can be extended for an additional $3.25. Each center has readers to view the microfilm and microfiche. The centers have a small collection of books which are mostly reference books. Books can not be borrowed from the Family History Library. However, some books have been microfilmed and the microfilm can be ordered.
In Colorado there are 43 Family History Centers. The closest centers to Broomfield are in Arvada, Louisville and Northglenn.
Arvada Family History Center
Hours: T, Th 9am-9pm; Sat. 9am-1pm.
Boulder Family History Center
701 W. South Boulder Road
Hours: T-W-Th 9am-5pm & 6-9pm; Sat. 9am-1pm.
Denver Colorado North
100 East Malley Drive
Hours: T, Th 10am-9pm; W 10am-1pm; Sat 10am-2pm.