Lesson 5

Gathering Information from Family

“Lesson 5: Gathering Information from Family,” Instructor’s Guide to Temple and Family History Work (2008), 14–16


When class members complete this lesson, they should be able to:

  • Identify family members who may have additional family history information.

  • Contact these individuals to obtain the information.


In preparation for this lesson:

  • Prayerfully study pages 21–23 of the Member’s Guide to Temple and Family History Work.

  • Watch the following segments of the Temple and Family History Course DVD. (If you are not able to show the segments, you can cover some of the same information by presenting the discussion activity that follows the showing of the segments.)

    • “Gathering Information from Family” (5:14 minutes)

    • “Family History Interviews” (5:42 minutes)

  • Reserve a DVD player from the meetinghouse library for the class session.

Review Assignments

Begin the class by briefly reviewing the assignments from the previous lesson. Ask class members:

  • How many of you were able to record the family history information you have found so far?

  • What questions do you have about recording information?

If any class members were unable to record the information they have gathered so far, make arrangements to help them complete this assignment.

Key Points

1. Gathering Information from Your Family

Help class members understand that family members can be a valuable source of family history information.

DVD iconDVD Presentation

Before showing this DVD segment, ask class members to look for the rewards that come from contacting family members.

Show “Gathering Information from Family” (5:14 minutes).


Review the examples from the DVD presentation. Ask class members:

  • Which stories or examples most impressed you? Why?

  • What feelings did you have as you watched the presentation?

2. Interviewing Family Members

Help class members become familiar with the information in the Member’s Guide about how to contact family members and conduct interviews with them. Point out the guidelines on pages 21–23, and discuss them with the class. Also point out the list of sample interview questions in appendix B of the Member’s Guide. Then ask:

  • What should you do before an interview with a family member in order to glean the most helpful information?

  • What types of questions should you ask during a family history interview?

  • What should you do after an interview in order to make the best use of the information you have received?

Encourage class members to study the guidelines in the Member’s Guide and the questions in appendix B as they prepare to contact family members.

DVD iconDVD Presentation

Before showing this DVD segment, explain to class members that they will see two examples of a family history interview. Ask them to look for the differences between the two interviews.

Show “Family History Interviews” (5:42 minutes).


Ask class members to consider the two interviews shown in the presentation. Then ask:

  • What were some of the problems that occurred in the first example?

  • What techniques were more effective in the second example?

You may want to list class members’ comments on the board. Emphasize that in the second example, the interviewer did the following:

  • Contacted the person in advance.

  • Was prepared to record the information.

  • Asked open-ended questions during the interview.

  • Obtained copies of important documents.

3. Recording as You Gather

Explain that as class members gather information, they can continue to record it in the FamilySearch Internet site. Ask the following questions:

  • Why is it helpful to record information as you gather it?

  • How many of you have found information that could be added to what is already recorded?

Remind class members to continue recording information as they obtain it from family members and other sources. They can keep simple notes on the printouts they get from the FamilySearch Internet site, or they can use the blank forms in appendix A of the Member’s Guide.