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Family History Center Welcome Letter

Welcome to the Oakton Virginia Family History Center!
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

2719 Hunter Mill Road, Oakton, VA  22124, (703) 281-1836
(Located along the back hallway of the Oakton Virginia Stake Center)

“From the very beginning of this Church, its members have been under religious obligation to identify its ancestors.” (President Gordon B. Hinckley)

For schedule and contact information, please see this link...


What is a Family History Center?

  • Family History Centers are branch facilities of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City
  • Everyone is welcome to visit the centers and use their resources
“The Church has established family history centers in many locations. Centers are designed to help members identify ancestors. Centers provide local access to microfilmed family history records of the Church and to Church family history computer resources, including FamilySearch on the Internet. Community patrons are also welcome to use resources available at centers.

“Family history centers are effective to the extent that:
(1)          All patrons are made to feel welcome to use the resources of the center
(2)         Nonmember patrons have opportunities to learn why members do family history work

(Church Handbook of Instructions, Book 2: Priesthood and Auxiliary Leaders, Section 9, “Temple and Family History Work”, page 267)

Oakton Virginia Family History Center Mission Statement

To help all individuals develop the necessary skills to find, organize, and share genealogical records and submit ancestral names for temple work.

What do we offer?

  • Over 40 trainers and consultants on staff to assist patrons during operating hours
  • Group training in, genealogical software, research websites, and other training to assist research
  • Seven networked computer workstations
  • Eleven microfilm reader machines
  • A microfiche reader machine
  • A digital imaging machine for digitizing microfilm/microfiche images.  The digitized files can be saved on a flash drive, saved on a CD, or attached to an email.
  • Over 1600 rolls of microfilms in our permanent collection
  • Over 800 genealogy reference books on location that include research helps, genealogies, histories, gazetteers, and atlases


Background:  The Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, provides access to the world's largest collection of genealogical records, including the names of more than 2 billion deceased people.  The library, owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was founded in 1894, to gather genealogical records and assist Church members in tracing their family histories.  The master copies of the more than three million microfilms/microfiche collected by the Church are stored in the Granite Mountain storage facility, a massive vault built literally into a mountainside about 25 miles from downtown Salt Lake City.

Ordering Microfilms:  Family History Center patrons can order copies of the Granite Mountain microfilms to do their research in the center.  These microfilms include vital, census, land, probate, immigration, and church records, as well as many other records of genealogical value.

Indexing Microfilm Contents:  The Church is in the process of digitizing some of the microfilms for access on the internet.  This will be a slow process because of the vastness of the collection and is estimated to span several years.  The Church cannot digitize over 30% of the microfilms because of copyright restrictions.  Therefore, there will always be a need for a Family History Center in order to view the films that cannot be viewed digitally.

Family History Center On-Line Portal

Through the on-line portal at the Oakton Virginia Family History Center patrons can have FREE access the following genealogical internet databases:
  • Heritage Quest/ProQuest
    Heritage Quest online includes the complete set of U.S. Federal Census images from 1790 to 1930 including names and indexes for many of the sets.  Users will be able to find people and places located in over 20,000 published family and local histories and PERSI, an index of over 1.9 million genealogy and local history articles.  Other online databases include Revolutionary War Pension, Bounty-Land Warrant Application files, and the Freedman Bank Records.
  • Family History Link
    FamilyHistoryLink, the newest social genealogy networking Web site created to rapidly link people across the world.  FamilyHistoryLink provides a perfect venue for families, genealogists and family historians to share their common interests and heritage as they connect with one another and upload their photos, family tree, and family history.  FamilyHistoryLink users can view the profiles of other individuals, communicate with individuals who have researched or are currently researching in their area of interest through the City Link feature, meet new individuals who also participate in the service, share photos, genealogical information and post comments.  Additional features include a news feed system, Ancestor Pages, announcements pages, email features, shared connections between and, and will soon include a family tree.  In the past, genealogists were able to make connections with other genealogists.  However to do so required a lot of time, and effort, two scarce resources for genealogists.  FamilyHistoryLink is a tool that connects people in such a way that it makes everyone and everything more efficient, and will become even better as people join the site.
  • Footnote
    Footnote is a subscription-based website that features searchable, original documents that provide users a view of the events, places and people that shaped the American nation and the world.  The site has over 25 million digital images.  Footnote is currently working with FamilySearch to index the American Revolutionary War Pension files. Additional projects with FamilySearch are under development.
  • World Vital Records
    World Vital Records provides access to research helps and has a wide variety of international records, including more than 60 parish registers, Scottish death records, UK marriages, and Irish prisoner records.  There are more than 300 newspapers with 100,000 pages added a month, and over 500 online databases, including vital, military, land, pension records, reference materials, family histories, maps, gazetteers, and international coops.  With the recent Quintin Publications partnership, World Vital Records will soon have more than 10,000 databases online. At least one new database is added every business day.
  • 19th Century British Library Newspapers Digital Archive
    For decades, even hundreds of years after publication, researchers of all kinds, all over the world, turn to newspapers for information relating to a wide variety of research needs.  Gale has partnered with the British Library to create one of the richest collections of primary source material in the world.  This collection contains two million newspaper pages.  Taken as a whole, the huge production of newspapers in Britain provides an enormous resource for research on all subjects for all of the U.K., both urban and rural.  The bulk of advertising, particularly for new books and theatrical performances, has proved especially useful for historians.  Cultural trends, political currents and social problems are reflected in these newspapers and give new freshness and immediacy to historical events.
  • Genline
    Swedish Church Records Online. The online website contains church records from the 16th-20th century for research in Swedish genealogy.  Search your Swedish ancestry in millions of pages of original Swedish Church Records with Genline FamilyFinder.
  • Godfrey Memorial Library
    Godfrey Memorial Library has an extensive collection of essential resources to assist genealogical and historical research.  Resources include newspapers, city and business directories, vital records, printed census records, state, county, and local histories, as well as numerous family histories, family bible records, and service and pension records.
  • Alexander Street Press- The American Civil War:
    1. The American Civil War Research Database: Definitive online resource for researching the individuals, regiments, and battles of the American Civil War.  The database is indexed, searchable information on over 4 million soldiers and thousands of battles, together with over 16,000 photographs.
    2. American Civil War Letters and Diaries: Contains 2,000 authors and approximately 100,000 pages of dairies, letters, and memoirs.  Particular care has been taken to index this material so it can be searched more thoroughly.  This product includes 4,000 pages of previously unpublished manuscripts.
    3. Images of the American Civil War – Photographs, Posters, and Ephemera: Thousands of dramatic images from the fields of battle, politics, and general society.  Thus database holds over 1400 images.