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How to Begin Down-line Research
(below is an example)

  1. Start at top of family you will be researching – Belinda Hovey Farr & John Alma Young
  1. Find Belinda Hovey Farr on NFS (new.familysearch.org) and on your PAF file.  Select “Spouses and Children” view on NFS -- All 5 of Belinda and John’s children are shown.
    1. Click on the 1st child:  Everett Alma Young.  On the PAF file, Everett shows up with his wife, Helen McRae and 8 children.  On PAF there is sealing to spouse information, but not baptism or endowment dates.  By clicking on “Spouses and Children”, 3 of their 8 children show up.  (Remember that NFS will only show information on deceased individuals.) 
    1. Everett and Helen’s 2nd child, Ralph Everett, lived only 6 years, so he has no further descendants.
    1. The only other child with available information is Richard Wayne Young.  You can obtain his wife, Barbara Sue Ingram and daughter, Britta Sue Young’s information. 
    1. Before leaving each person, look at the “Individual Sources” to verify that the information came from a primary or reliable source.  If it was only LDS Ancestral File, it cannot be relied on as being accurate. 
    1. After going through the previous steps, update your PAF file with any new information you have gathered.  
    1. Move on to the 2nd child in the family Thelma Melvina Young and go through the same process.  Use this process for each child, on each line.  It fans out quickly, so it is best to work a child’s line as far as you can and then go on to the next. 
  1. Three things to remember:
    1. These names are your cousins.  The best source of information can be acquired directly from those who knew or have knowledge of these people personally.  Check with other family members for histories, birth certificates, or other documents that may be in their possession.
    1. New.familysearch.org will NOT show any information on living persons.  There are many living cousins that could be added to the PAF file, but you will not be able to access that information through NFS and not everyone is comfortable having their personal information, ie., birth date, spouse & children listed.
    1. Because the information in NFS is not always verified and correctly sourced, there are MANY errors, especially the further back you go in time.  If you believe there are children missing, or too many family members, try to put families together using Census records or other Vital Records information.

Please contact Karen McConnell @ 949-582-3625 or mcconnell.k@att.net with any questions


Downline Research Guidelines

We appreciate all those who are actively taking part in the challenge to search out our ancestors.  In order to make the best use of our efforts, please use the following guidelines:     

  1. When entering locations, please use the standardized format, as recognized on new.familysearch.org.  For example:  Logan, Utah would be listed as:  Logan, Cache, Utah, United States.  Abbreviations are not recommended (with the exception of temple codes).  By standardizing the locations, it makes searches more accurate.  If you have not been using this format, it is not necessary to go back and change all your work.  We will make those corrections. 
  1. When documenting information on downline individuals, please include primary sources to verify individuals and their relationship to a family (child, spouse, etc.).   Examples of primary sources are:
    • Social Security Death Index
    • Death Records
    • Birth Records
    • Marriage Records
    • Probate Records
    • Christening/baptism record
    • Draft registration
    • War Service records
    • Census records
    • Family bible (written – not just word of mouth)

Please note that Ancestral File and Pedigree Resource File are not considered primary sources because the information has not been verified as coming from a valid source.  It is strictly information that has been submitted by individuals.  Many times it is just copied from another file and errors are propagated.  The IGI is a valid place to check for completed ordinance information, but the individual’s information is not always correct. 

  1. For names you have already submitted, please go back and make sure the primary source has been identified.  This will save us from needing to have someone go through and re-verify all the information you have already researched and submitted.

Thank you for all your efforts in completing this important work.


Downline Resources

The goal of down-line research is to fill any gaps in your family tree and ensure that temple ordinances are completed for your extended family, where possible. 

The church has created very helpful tools for family history and temple work. 

  • Members Guide to Temple and Family History Work – a comprehensive guide that takes you step by step through the process of researching your family and submitting names for temple work.  
  • The entire guide can be downloaded as a .pdf file or individual lessons can be viewed using Windows MediaPlayer or QuickTime Video http://www.lds.org/pa/display/0,17884,8856-1,00.html
  • Guide can be ordered free of charge from Church Distribution.  Follow the Family History links @ldscatalog.com.  Item # is 36795000. 
  • Additional research guides are available for specific areas of research, ie. locality and language guides.  These can also be either downloaded or ordered from ldscatalog.com
  • New.familysearch.org (NFS) – on-line program and data base for compiling information on ancestors and submitting temple ordinances. 
  • Everyone is encouraged to set up their own log-on for new.familysearch.org.  By doing this, you will be able to access your unique pedigree and family tree. 
  • To register, you will need your membership # and confirmation date.  Your ward clerk can give you this information if you do not already know it.
  • Once you have signed on to new.familysearch, take the time to review the overview and familiarize yourself with the program.  
  • It is important to remember that generally, NFS does not show information on living individuals.  Living persons are listed in italics. 
  • Personal Ancestral File (PAF) – PAF is the church’s free downloadable program for organizing family information. 
  • PAF can be downloaded to your computer from familysearch.org.  From the home page, click on the link to enter identification and begin download. 
  • The church will no longer be releasing new versions of PAF, so you might want to consider buying a commercial program such as RootsMagic, FamilyTreeMaker, or FamilyInsight.  RootsMagic now has a free version that is completely compatible and syncs with NFS.