Help FamilySearch Identify Vital Records

June 12, 2013  - by 

Just as in the days of Nephi we are striving to preserve our genealogical records. Nephi was sent to obtain the plates of brass “which contained the genealogy my father” (1 Ne:3:12) to preserve his heritage, culture, and religion. Today we are still seeking these records to allow all of Gods children the opportunity to identify their ancestors and have their hearts turned to their fathers.

The Family History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is initiating a program to identify our nation’s vital records along with the record custodians in the United States.

The Family History Records Division would like to request your help in locating and listing the records in your geographic area.  These records may be located in churches, genealogical societies, county court houses, local archives, or even at a national archive level.  The work will be performed during the regular business hours of the record custodian.

Those who are interested in participating in this program will be directed to local record custodians where they will identify and list records which Family History department employees may be interested in negotiating for digital capture, indexing, and publishing to in the future.  We ask that you have intermediate to professional knowledge of record sets and types in order to help with this process.  In addition to this previous experience, you will also receive training to help you in your volunteer position.

Please note that at this time we are not interested in personal collections with a narrow scope.  We are working to identify important sets of records in order to create and prioritize them for future consideration.

In addition, we are looking for Church missionaries and general public volunteers to capture images in their local areas.  If you would be interested in helping in either of these efforts, we would very much like to speak with you.  Please contact Karma Tomlinson or Shanna Shirley at 801-240-4546, or email at or You may also view more information regarding digital capture opportunities by visiting,

We would appreciate hearing from you if you are interested in identifying or capturing the invaluable genealogical records that make the great work of family history possible.

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  1. Thanks for this invitation. Will make it known in the Church and outside.

    In the meantime, will you confirm the following facts that I have gathered and intend to make known to members to help create more interest and participation in family history, by showing how large and extensive family history is to the Church. by showing how large and extensive family history is to the Church. Correct and supply additional facts, please:

    The Family History mission is the largest in the Church, with more than 300 missionaries and more than 300 full time employees including experts in genealogy in the library.
    A world-wide system of volunteer consultants in genealogy andwers questions and gives free help to genealogists;
    The indexing system is the largest volunteer service with more than 500,000 volunteers who have indexed more than 1 billion records;
    The Library in SL has more than 750,000 visitors a year;
    There are about 200 crews going throughout the world to digitally film civic, church and other records which we preserve, index and make public for free;
    The world’s largest genealogy technology conference is sponsored by FamilySearch;
    Our free website is one of the most used in the genealogy world;
    Our system of 4,500 Family History Centers throughout the world is the most extensive network of free genealogy help.
    The language of genealogists, GEDCOM, was developed by the Church and is still the standard for genealogical communication between computer programs.

  2. As I was talking with our friends ,who recently became regional representatives for our Washington area for Family Search the other night, I had an idea I would like to share with you. Consultants have an opportunity to follow-up with other consultants after the missionaries bring a new member into our center. If we monitor who is going to help this new member, we would find the zeal of this new member to find their ancestors. I for one am going to ask my director, Al Cripe, if this could be discussed at our meeting. I think this would help the missionary efforts to push along. I hope I expressed what I feel on my heart to do.

  3. I am serving at the St George Regional Family History Library as a Missionary. Unless out of town, I work most days that we are open. If you could train me, and loan us a machine to copy books, we could copy our library’s books, and help others who have the desire to make their collection available. I know that there is a need.
    Our Kodak Scanner works well for photos larger that 2 X 3, and smaller than 8.5″ widths. Our flat bed scanner is slow, and doesn’t work well for books, and we have one machine which can capture negatives, Micro film or fiche images. Because it is old tech, it is connected to a very old computer.
    We have an abundance of Missionaries who when not helping patrons might also be willing to help at our center, in this project. This is a great undertaking!
    Thank you for your all that you do!

    1. Thank you for interest in this great work. If you could visit the webpage, click on the purple button and provide the requested contact information I will be more than happy to have our manager for the book scanning projects contact you.

  4. I would be interested in helping to copy some of the records. I live in Ravalli County Montana. We have death, birth, and marriage records. There is an old index book of old marriage records that would be great to copy. I’m not sure about the privacy but I know we have to sign to get birth and death that we are related.

    1. We are excited you are willing to help. Please visit the following website and click on the purple button. Please provide the requested contact information and we can talk about the opportunities in your area.

  5. Recently a nonmember offered his deceased wife’s genealogical efforts to our Family History Center in Soldotna, Alaska. She had accumulated over 555,800 names through her excellent research and the material given to us included pictures and documents, many of which were originals. I set up a nonLDS account on Family Tree and have a goal of adding 1,000 names a week. Curiosity causes me to check my own Family Tree often to search for her family and see if any LDS members have discovered this wealth of individuals who require their work to be completed.