Tuesday, October 9, 2012

LDS Research Outlines

The Research Guides from FamilySearch have been moved from the FamilySearch site. These excellent overviews have helped thousands of researchers, but are not as easy to find as they once were. All can be downloaded at no charge. We are working on getting links to those files that we can. Links are to the direct PDF files. Please email me at michael.john.neill@gmail.com with corrections or additions. This update is not complete. We are working on a better structure for this page-please be patient.

Some of these research guides are old--double check, make certain there aren't new records or new restrictions. Print them out and annotate them!


Alabama· Alaska  · Arizona  · Arkansas  · California  · Colorado  · Connecticut · Delaware  · Florida  · Georgia  · Hawaii  · Idaho  · Illinois  · Indiana  ·Iowa  · Kansas  · Kentucky  · Louisiana  · Maine  · Maryland  · Massachusetts  ·Michigan  · Minnesota  · Mississippi  · Missouri  · Montana  · Nebraska  ·Nevada  · New Hampshire  · New Jersey  · New Mexico  · New York  · North Carolina  · North Dakota  · Ohio  · Oklahoma  · Oregon  · Pennsylvania  · Rhode Island  · South Carolina  · South Dakota  · Tennessee  · Texas  · Utah  ·Vermont  · Virginia  · Washington  · West Virginia  · Wisconsin  · Wyoming  ·

US General Topics

Central America

Not Locality Specific:

I would download them and save the ones I wanted just in case they are eventually pulled for good. 


  1. Keep in mind, that while these research guides were fabulous in their day, so much has changed in recent years that relying on the information in them instead of the up-to-date information in the FamilySearch Research Wiki is rather like consulting a 15 year old encyclopedia. Pull up a few and look at the publication dates. Then look for information on online resources relating to the area being described. And look at information about the availability of records from the governments that have since been clamped down on for privacy reasons. Etc. I hope if you are looking for information to help you in your research now, you look first at the Research Wiki versions. The old PDFs are just plain outdated. I say that as one who has used and loved the printed and PDF research guides for decades, but I find the new options even more valuable.

    Mike St. Clair

  2. I realize that Mike, but there's still some good information on some of them and the PDF format is easier for some users who have voiced complaints to me privately. Some of the guides were minimal in terms of content and some focused heavily on LDS sources only. But they are a good starting point.

    The methodology information contained in them and the "how-to" is still accurate. How to read handwriting and interpret a record hasn't changed.

    And researchers should always make certain that they are using up-to-date information. There are wikis that are occasionally out of date or with incorrect information as well. No source is perfect.