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5 Apps & Games That Make Family History a Family Affair Twitter Facebook Print E-mail
Written by Sharon Howell   
Monday, 07 December 2015

Many apps from the 2015 LDSTech App & Game Contest have family history themes, with great potential for fostering a love of family heritage among all ages.

The apps include puzzles and games, easy-to-use apps for beginners, and robust web tools for training others in family history methods and doing serious research.

If you want to get involved and include your family, look at the apps and download your favorites from the appropriate app store, or visit the designated website using links in the Contest Gallery.

Children’s Games and Youth Apps

Little Family Tree (for Android) is the third place winner in the Primary category. It is a delightful app that engages toddlers and pre-school children with ancestors through photos, games, and activities.

When you launch the app, you sign into your FamilySearch account to pull down information. When prompted, install a text-to-speech applet. The app will then address the player by name and give directions and information about ancestors. There are seven games in all, with clever graphics and simple navigation.

Ancestor Guru Fast Photo and Ancestor Memory are two of four games available at

When you sign in for the first time, you are prompted to access your FamilySearch account to retrieve ancestor information.

If your first four generations are incomplete, you’ll be prompted to make corrections or additions. You may dismiss the message and continue.

The games are challenging and work best for older children or young adults. In one game the player is asked to pick ancestor pictures before they fly off the screen, in another to unscramble tree relationships, and a third tests your memory of family history facts. A fourth is a memory matching game with family memories photos. Participants can improve at the games while becoming more familiar with family history facts.

GrandMem was built by a father and son and is a memory matching game that uses ancestor pictures obtained when you sign into FamilySearch from the launch screen at It has three levels of challenge and will keep players interested while they become familiar with their ancestors.

Family Booklet (for iOS) allows participants to add names, dates, places, and photos into designated fields. It then uses the information to build a family tree and create a PDF booklet to share with family members by any of the configured share methods, including email, on an iOS device.

This simple tree app works with the user’s first few generations. It’s great for someone getting started with family history before they use an online tree or more sophisticated genealogical record-keeping program. For those who are beginning, the date and place formatting cues are very helpful.

Comprehensive Learning Apps

The Family History Guide at was the third place winner for the People’s Choice Award at the 2015 LDSTech Conference, and is a comprehensive website that introduces basic concepts, instructing and directing those who are getting started or are already involved in family history research.

The Family History Guide will become even more relevant once you’ve mastered the basics. It is flexible yet focused, and contains over a thousand links to sources, explanatory videos, and documentation. If you are a family history trainer, you’ll find many uses for the site, which is free.

Developers Bob Taylor and Bob Ives collaborated on site contents and have incorporated instructional design methodologies into goal-oriented projects, methods, and training elements. There is something for every type of learner in every level of family history experience.

Follow menu links and review goals and projects.  Use the supporting handouts and links to videos. Come back again and again to discover additional resources.

Purpose and Value

Begin now to build your own family connections with the 2015 family history apps. Get started building family connections with family history apps and let family history become a family affair.



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