CEO Corner: 12-Millionth Source Challenge

October 22, 2013  - by 

Here at we’ve had a pretty big year. We’ve launched some exciting enhancements to the website, we’re reinventing the indexing experience, we’re creating handheld and smartphone tools, and we’ve announced some new partnerships with some very big companies in the genealogy and family history community.

So, what has been the direct effect of helping family historians better accomplish task one: finding documented sources that support conclusions? I’m excited to say that the result is nothing short of incredible! Finding and documenting sources is the foundation for making accurate conclusions in your family tree—like industry wisdom says, “Conclusions without documentation turns genealogy into mythology!”

Let me give you an example of what I’m talking about. In the entire six years prior to 2013 when Family Tree was introduced, there were approximately 60,000 sources attached to ancestors in However, in the six short months since the release of the enhanced patron experience that added Photos, Stories, Fan Chart, and a world-class Family Tree, over eight million (yes that’s right, 8,000,000) additional sources have been attached to ancestors in FamilySearch Family Tree!

And I’m excited to tell you that sometime around the beginning of 2014, the 12-millionth source will be attached to Family Tree at We’ll be watching closely to see who that user will be who attaches that 12-millionth milestone.

In fact, I’m excited to announce the launch of the “12-Millionth Source Challenge.” We want to acknowledge and reward one lucky family historian who will attach the 12,000,000th source! What’s in it for you if you’re that person? The winning submitter will receive 10 hours of free family history research through FamilySearch’s world-renowned Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. This is a big deal—the Family History Library team creates the family histories which are presented by the L.D.S. Church to V.I.Ps such as U.S. Presidents, heads of states, entertainers and other distinguished visitors. We’ll soon be adding a countdown clock to the website, we’ll be watching to verify sources (the winning source has to be legit after all), and then we’ll all celebrate together for reaching this amazing milestone.

What’s made all of this possible? It’s all happening because of a combination of hard working people like you and the addition of powerful new website features on that we’ve recently released. These include:

  • An expanded and enhanced Search feature
  • The ability to find sources directly from an ancestor page in Family Tree so we pre-populate the search field for you
  • Adding the ability to add sources to Family Tree with a simple click of the mouse
  • The addition of hundreds of millions of new records online every month

We thank you for all your hard work and for all you do. We look forward to rewarding one of you for being the one who attaches the 12-millionth source to Family Tree at FamilySearch. So, let the challenge begin!



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  1. Soy misionera de tiempo completo en conservación de registros , junto con mi esposo,en Colombia ,me siento feliz por aportar algo en esta gran obra…..


    I am a missionary from full-time in recordkeeping, along with my husband, in Colombia, I am happy to contribute something in this great work…

  2. Thanks a lot, with the improvements everybody could do something even the little one´s can download a picture and Family History it´s became a really family matter because everybody can participated.

  3. I just read your update letter I am very excited to have this new update it will mean a lot to my Family History Research
    Thank you for your hard work

  4. I am still wondering why my sources did not transfer from new family search to family tree. I have more than 1,000 sources that I will have to re-enter if there is not some plan to bring them over. I know many of my mother’s sources are not showing up in family tree either. I think we would be much closer to the 12million sources if this problem were taken care of.

      1. the(old) new can be looked at. We have moved forward and we have new material to use. A death record, when you look at the document, you find the death date,place of death, birth date & place, mother & father, place of birth, the spouse’s name, MD who signed the death certificate, the undertaker & where the person burial, date & place. The age is not 78 But 78 years 3 months 21 days

  5. I just noticed the new button under the URL box on the Add New Source page that allows you to add photos and documents. I’m sure it wasn’t there just on Sunday when I was teaching my Family History class. It’s a fabulous addition, thank you!

  6. I’m a discouraged NewFamily.Search user. Change is wonderful, most of the time. We used to be Fam Hist Consultants. Now we are the outcasts. Family Tree is VERY different. It requires learning, particularly transition. All I can find is training on step one (“Talk to your grandpa”). Can someone help me find some transitional type training? i.e., I know a lot, but have trouble unlearning.