FAQs about the DPL FAL (FamilySearch Affiliate Library)

The Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center has exciting news to share about access to genealogical research materials: The Davenport Public Library has been designated as a FamilySearch Affiliate Library!

“But I already use FamilySearch online from home for my genealogical research,” you might be saying to yourself, “It’s free, easy to use, and includes millions of historical records. How will the fact that my library is an Affiliate make a difference?”

FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries like the Davenport Public Library provide patrons with on-site access to name indexes and historical genealogical record sets available only at the LDS Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, or at one of its satellite Family History Centers.

Disappointed to see this message when you try to click through to a record image?

Does your heart sink when you see that icon of a camera with a key next to a record you wish to view?

Now those “restricted” or “priviledged” record images can be “unlocked” when you visit any of the DPL’s three branches and sign into your personal FamilySearch.org account on a library computer or your own device!

Just type “FamilySearch.org” into a browser search bar or enter the site under “Research Tools” then “Online Resources” on the DPL website.

Let’s search for the marriage of Herman Hentze in Scott County, Iowa, as an example. Sign in (if you don’t yet have an account, click on “Create Account”), click on “Search” in the upper left corner and select “Records.” When the search box appears, click on “Options” and enter information in the field boxes like so:

TIP: Keep the information you first enter minimal and general (e.g. no year, Scott County instead of Davenport) to catch all possibilities in the results; you can narrow the search further. There may be clues in the list of results itself.

Herman Hentze is found in the FamilySearch record set “Iowa, County Marriages, 1838-1934:”

The abstracted information to the right, including the names of his parents, spouse, the marriage date, etc. can be checked against the actual page from the Scott County marriage license book (a digitized image of the microfilm copy) for any discrepancies by clicking through on the left. There may even be additional information in the original record that has not been abstracted.

Without the ability to see the actual record images via the FS Affiliate, you would not know that one of the repeat entries for the same marriage record set in the results (above) leads you to the Hentze’s marriage return as well:

Furthermore, neither of these two types of marriage records are available on AncestryLibrary, our popular in-house genealogy database. In fact, Ancestry contains an altogether different type of marriage record with similar information:

TIP: Make the most of your time in the library and search both databases!

FamilySearch also allows you to search by resource, including books, online materials, microfilm, microfiche, and other publications. Click on “Catalog” under the “Search” menu on the home page. You can find the record set “Iowa, County Marriages, 1838-1934” (to continue with our same example), with a title search. You can also search by author, subject, and keyword. If you do a surname search with “Hentze,” however, the individual marriage record entries we found earlier will not be returned.

You can search by place to find the full range of record types available for a particular location. Here are the (partial) results for Scott County, Iowa:

So, Hentze and his family members might also be found in census records, church records, court records, land and property records, (and there’s more!) in Scott County, Iowa. Again, you will have much fewer categories to search if you are not in a FamilySearch Affiliate Library like DPL.

The beginning of two long pages of available marriage records are shown here under the “Vital records” category — and there is no key above the camera icon to stop you from accessing the record images!

TIP: For best results, enter the location information in the format shown above: Country, State/Province, County, City/Town…

If you are just getting starting with your family history research, we recommend the FamilySearch “Research Wiki” (also under the “Search” menu).

Search by topic, such as “Marriage records,”

…or search by place, such as “Iowa.”

You can also choose the more thorough “Guided Research” option for step-by-step instructions on finding records for a particular place:

And please do not hesitate to contact the staff here at the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center for additional help understanding and accessing the research resources now available with the DPL’s new status as a FamilySearch Affiliate Library!

(posted by Katie)

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