Monday, June 2, 2008

What is FHCNET?

This is another in a series of encyclopedia-like articles written by the Ancestry Insider. Some serve as extensions to my failing memory while others give me someplace to link to for terms that may not be known by all readers.

FHCNET, pronounced "fish-net," is a message forum for Family History Center directors and others involved in family history center work. The FHCNET message forum is hosted by Yahoo at The official site description reads

Mailing list for directors and others closely associated with the operation of LDS family history centers. Topics for discussion include staff training, collection development, film/fiche management, equipment maintenance, FamilySearch, and patron services.

The group was founded on 6-Sep-2001 and has 1140 members. The message rate was 90 new messages during the last week of May and has ranged from 316 to 812 messages per month this year.

As can be assumed, participants are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, owner of FamilySearch, the Salt Lake Family History Library and local family history centers. Topics and messages are typically heavily laden with content of interest only to members of that church.

Reading messages does not require membership. Membership in the FHCNET group does not require approval. Posting messages previously was open as well, until the group started receiving pornography. Now messages from unknown members are reviewed by the group administrator before posting. Email attachments are not permitted, but should be sent to the administrator for posting in the Files area. Members cannot hide email addresses and are listed in the directory.

Ileen Johnson is the group administrator or list owner. Ileen and her husband, Freeman, have been involved in genealogy and administered family history centers for many years on several continents. Ileen is the former editor of the Geneva Heights Family History Center News, an excellent monthly publication which she made popular as a resource for training family history center staff members. Ileen and Freeman Johnson currently serve as FamilySearch support missionaries.

Yahoo message groups can be joined and messages read at the group website, via email or via RSS. Visit or use these email addresses:

Post message:
List owner:

Johnson posts a regular message to the group with further instructions clarifying group use. I find the title of the message confusing: "File - Posting." Maybe this title is a Yahoo Group requirement. Too bad it can't be named something like "FHCNET Policies."

File - Posting

Topics appropriate for discussion include staff training, collection development, film/fiche management, equipment maintenance, FamilySearch, patron services, or anything else to do with management of a family history center.

Please do not submit virus alerts, chain letters, recipes, jokes, or other off-topic material to the list. Don't send copies of copyrighted material. Vulgarity and personal attacks on other list members, leaders, or the Family History Department are also unwelcome.

If someone else violates these rules, please do not send their message back to the list! That only magnifies the problem. Send a private email if you wish, or notify the list owner at

The FHCNET list will accept brief announcements of books and other resource material related to family history center operation. Please do not post prices. Instead, include a link to a URL, a commercial mailing list, or an email address where the complete ordering information can be found. If you are unsure about what to post, send the message to I'll will review it and forward it to the List if appropriate.

Ileen Johnson, list owner

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