FamilySearch & Ancestry Partnership Frequently Asked Questions

What was the FamilySearch and announcement about?

FamilySearch and recently announced a joint agreement to begin a 5-year effort to digitize and index more than 1 billion records from around the world.

How does the family history community benefit?

An important goal for FamilySearch is to make it easier for people everywhere to discover and share their family history. This joint agreement will put valuable record collections within reach of millions of people who might not otherwise have access.

Who will have access to records that are indexed by FamilySearch volunteers?

Records that are indexed by FamilySearch volunteers will continue to be available at no cost to visitors of  In addition to this, many of these records will also become available through partner sites such as

What is the benefit to FamilySearch volunteers?

Any indexer who gives because they want to help others experience the joy of finding their ancestors should feel even more excited at how their gift is being utilized to benefit even more people. Not only will records indexed by volunteers continue to be freely available to visitors of, but they will also be accessible to researchers and patrons of other sites and services.

Will people have to pay to see records indexed by FamilySearch volunteers?

No. Such indexed records will continue to be available for free at as they always have. If a person is paying for a subscription to a service such as at, they may have access to these records from within Ancestry products, but this is not required.

Why should I do volunteer indexing at FamilySearch?

Volunteer indexers play a vital role in helping people to discover their ancestors. Family history research today is dramatically different than in the past thanks to the internet and searchable indexes. Millions more people are now able to engage in meaningful research about their ancestors because of the accumulated effort of hundreds of thousands of FamilySearch indexing volunteers. But literally billions of records remain un-indexed, each of which represents a possible missing clue that will help another person to remember a treasured ancestor. Help will be needed for many more years but even a small contribution can make a huge difference for someone else.

About the Author