FamilySearch.org is one of the most popular genealogical resources in the world. The site is sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is free and available to the public. Since launching in May 1999, more than 150 million people have visited FamilySearch.org to learn more about their family heritage.
Visitors to FamilySearch.org can search billions of digital images and indexes of records from all over the world. These records include government and church records for births, marriages, and deaths; censuses; probate records, land records, draft cards; and so forth. Millions of new records are published on a weekly basis.
Many of the records on the FamilySearch website are indexed, making them easier to search. The indexes are created by volunteers, partners, or vendors. Currently, there over 125,000 active indexers around the world who complete about one million names a day. Anyone can help with this effort, regardless of their age, religion, or technical background; all that is needed is a computer and an Internet connection. The free online application is available in seven languages.
The FamilySearch Digital Library is a large online library of genealogical resources. Visitors to FamilySearch.org can search hundreds of thousands of online books from all over the world. These books include family histories, county and local histories, directories, gazetteers, genealogy magazines, obituaries, transcriptions, and yearbooks. Titles are provided by the FamilySearch Family History Library in Salt Lake City, FamilySearch Family History Centers, and partner libraries in several countries. Partner libraries include libraries with some of the largest genealogical collections in the United States, with growing content from throughout the world.
Searching the FamilySearch Digital Library is easy to do and digital books are full-text searchable. Easy to use result filters and powerful Boolean search operators help focus on the most relevant books. Public domain books can be downloaded for offline reading. The book viewer includes many easy-to-use controls.
FamilySearch.org features several resources to help people learn how to discover their family history. For example, this Wiki is an interactive online encyclopedia for family history research. This site contains research helps, guides, and advice from FamilySearch experts, but is also a place where anyone can share what they know about genealogy. Visitors to the site can search by geographic area or to get tips and helpful information on climbing their own family trees.
Through FamilySearch Community, individuals can post questions about their own research and FamilySearch staff or anyone from the genealogical community helps answer them.
Free online classes available on the FamilySearch website can be taken anytime from the comfort of home.
The length and format of the classes vary by subject, but usually include video of the presenter, a PowerPoint presentation, and class handouts. Many of these classes are taught by experts at the renowned Family History Library in Salt Lake City, but FamilySearch has also partnered with individual genealogists and facilities like the Midwest Genealogy Center in Independence, Missouri.
To see some statistics about FamilySearch.org, use the link below:
- Community Trees Project
- FamilySearch Digital Library
- Historical Record Collections
- Searching the FamilySearch Digital Library
- "FamilySearch Website - Church Newsroom." Church Newsroom | Church News - Official Newsroom of the Church . Intellectual Reserve, Inc, n.d. Web. 27 Feb. 2012.