You know the ones I'm talking about. If you are close to my age you recall the days before the internet and stable
Were were asked to fill them out for our selves and for our ancestors and send them to Salt Lake. They went to a huge archive and you could go to Salt Lake and look at them, copy them, or whatever. Nowadays we hop onto Family Search and that's it. We compare to original records and make quick edits when we need to. Don't get me wrong. I am fully in the digital age. I wouldn't go back for a minute. But there is something we lose when we go strictly digital. I can't see my grandmother's handwriting in the sheets she filled out. I can touch the paper she touched. If a baptism was done twice I could easily fit both dates in that box; one above the other. Paper gives you a flexibility that does exist in a database that someone else built.
So today I went looking for those old family group sheets. I know they are chock full of errors. Typos, strike-throughs, misconceptions, and outright lies. But those are in Family Search too, so how is this any worse? Plus there is an immediacy to the first paper collections of family history. Maybe the person filling out the form knew something, or someone, first hand. Maybe someone's name was spelled phonetically giving you a clue to how your great grandmother pronounced it. Maybe you will find the source of a transcription mistake made by your great uncle LeRoy. Maybe you will discover just how hard it was to research your ancestors 75 years ago and you'll gain a newfound respect for how few errors there were. Maybe something else altogether.
So with that in mind I give you.....
Family Group Records Collection, Archives Section, 1942-1969
Thousands of family group sheets waiting for your perusal. No, it is not indexed! No, there is no OCR searchable text! Yes it is alphabetized, though not perfectly. And identical names are organized chronologically. They are in roughly 1000 page chunks. So find that name. Hint: don't page through one at a time. Guess at what page number you want an type it in at the top left. You can narrow in on the name you want through repeated guessing. For example I might go to page 100, and then 200. If that is too far I'll go back to 150, then 175, until I get pretty close. Try it, you'll get the idea.
For extra credit, there are other collection of Family Group Sheets that are not online but are available on Microfilm. You can read about them in the Family Group Records Collection.