“You don’t interest others in horse riding by showing them how unpleasant it is to clean out the stables,” said Tim Cross. “You take them on a nice ride in the mountains.” Cross is a product manager at FamilySearch—and a horse enthusiast.
At the Riverton FamilySearch Library April Saturday seminar Cross challenged attendees to get everyone involved in genealogy by giving them a nice ride in the mountains. Don’t start by telling them about taking five years to find one of your ancestors.
Cross said he uses the question, “Would you or someone you know be interested in learning more about your family?” Then he sits down with them and helps them create a colored fan chart pedigree. He has found it often sparks additional interest.
Once you get a fan chart, you can send it to local experts who can further engage your new genealogist. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can send the chart to the newbie's ward family history consultants. When logged in, a member can see the e-mail addresses of their consultants on www.familysearch.org.
Cross uses a FamilySearch affiliate, such as Tree Seek or Family ChArtist, to create a free chart in PDF format. For those whose families have been members of the Church for several generations, these programs can create charts showing existing research and highlighting areas of opportunity.
“It’s like giving them a nice ride in the mountains.”