Historic Nauvoo opens a Family Search Center


For years, Nauvoo has preserved its roots and unique identity in the historic structures built by the pioneers. A new addition, though entirely modern, further contributes to the pioneer history by allowing residents and tourists to rediscover their ancestors’ legacy by going to Nauvoo’s brand-new Family Search Center.

The new center contains 16 state-of-the-art touch screen computers that offer free access various family history search engines and digital copies of records in the Salt Lake Family History Library. The volunteers in the center provide classes and training sessions for individuals unfamiliar with the programs and software.

Janice Matlock, assistant director for the Family Search Center, said she sees the center as a training ground for all who come. She said when tourists saw the resources available to them both in the center and online, they often left with a renewed desire to find their ancestors. Local nonmembers also frequent the center, and some have even discovered a pioneer ancestry they never knew existed.

The new FamilySearch Center includes 16 high speed computers to help patrons with their ancestral search. (Photo by Alisha Gallagher)

“No one leaves without having found something,” she said.

Matlock, an avid genealogist, said she hopes individuals will begin to have a new perspective on family history as they attend the center.

“We need to get away from thinking that family history is just a program,” she said. “We are doing the work of salvation.”

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