by | Dec 13, 2022 | 6 comments

The best free genealogy resource online is, and in particular, their free online catalog. A lot of people get intimidated by it or they don’t even know it’s there. In this video, I explain how to get to the catalog and then how to drill down to find the content that you seek even though a lot of the records contained within are not indexed as other content on the site is.

To access the quick reference of eastern North Carolina counties on East Carolina Roots, go here:

To access FamilySearch directly, go here:


  1. RoyJr

    Excellent review of the FamilySearch image collection. I have used the same technique Sarah outlined for the last year or so. I am a great believer in the value of deeds to solve genealogy issues. I would add to always make a note of the image number once you have found a document of value so that you will not have to hunt for it a second time and to be able to cite the image # in your biographical ancestor summary.

  2. Les Meisseel

    WOW, I had no idea all this information was accessible online. Thanks you very much!

  3. Mari

    Thank you! You made it very easy to understand. I was doing it the long way and getting overwhelmed and cross-eyed.

  4. Aimee McCall

    Great video Sarah. I love the Family Search Catalog. I have their Pitt County Deeds bookmarked on my toolbar because I use it so often. I’ve actually created a spreadsheet to track the film and image number of each land record I look at as well as a a brief description and any additional notes so I can easily acces it again. I recently began an index of sorts for all the Joyner land transactions recorded in the deed books for Pitt County from it’s creation to about 1840. So far I’ve worked through to Deed Book T. I’ve found all kinds of connections, including a 4th great grandmother I was missing. It has been so helpful to make sense of the various Joyner families in that county.

    • Sara Whitford

      That’s great to hear, Aimee! What would you think about jumping on a Zoom with me sometime so you can share your screen and show how you have set up this spreadsheet in case your strategy is helpful to others? If you’d be up for it, send me an email at

  5. Donna Newman

    I’ve found it helpful to include the image number as well in case I ever need to go back to it so the name might be something like “Edwards-Clark 1816 Beaufort NC DB11-276 img 320”.


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