Now you can do family history together—sharing screens and talking with a group of friends and experts—without leaving home.
You think you might want to do family history. BUT:
- You aren’t sure how to get started.
- You’ve never been trained.
- You’re afraid you’ll get stuck.
- You don’t want to get dressed up to go out.
- It feels boring to do it alone.
Thanks to modern technology, now you can get started with other people, get help in real time, do great research together, improve your skills, and support others WITHOUT ANYONE leaving home. Genealogy is a social thing now. And you can work in your pj’s if that suits you (without anyone knowing). And it costs nothing.
Here’s how to get started and how to join the Garden Ridge Family History Channel on Sunday nights at 6pm. It’s run by the Garden Ridge, TX Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (You do NOT need to be a Latter-day Saint and you do NOT need to live in Texas to join us. This channel is strictly for family history help, no proselyting allowed. Feel free to share this with friends.)
“Discord” Is a Good Thing?
I looked high and low for a great tool that would let people share screens and talk simultaneously. But if you want to know how to do something, ask an expert. So I asked my teenage children and… voila! They told me about Discord, a beautiful, friendly, free tool for gamers and other collaborators.
It was tricky at first for me to set up a Discord server that automatically allows screen sharing. But I’ve done all of the the hard parts, so now you can connect with me and others without trouble. 🙂
To connect to our family history work-together channel, get set up with Discord (under 5 minutes):
- Create a Discord account in your favorite web browser.
- Click the Open Discord button.
- Enter your email address.
- Pick a fun username. (Mine is StrongDad—a play on the StrongBad cartoon character name. You can change your username later.)
- Claim your account by verifying your email. Look for the verification email in your Inbox and click the link.
- You can now join and work with the group from inside your web browser.
- (Optional) Download Discord on your PC, Mac, or Linux machine.
- Run the installer you just downloaded and follow the instructions.
- This gives you a bit more power in joining and working with the group without running Discord in your browser.
- (Optional.) Get the Discord app for iPhone or Android if you have one.
- WOrk with the group and watch from your phone. 🙂
You’re ready to use Discord as a standalone app AND/OR in your browser.
Join Our Family History Channel
Click this link to join our group and get started.
We typically work Sunday evenings at 6 pm US Central Time.
Kevin Crenshaw is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He has served as a teacher and leader in the Church for more than 40 years. Although he makes every effort to be a careful student of Latter-day Saint theology and history, the opinions expressed are his own. He is not authorized to speak officially on behalf of the Church.