Thursday, October 29, 2009

FamilySearch Indexing: Want Free Indexed Records Online? Become a Voluteer and Help Create Them

Everyone is delighted with digitizing of records going on at FamilySearch, and opportunity to access the FamilySearch Labs and browse the records as they are released. Rita Marshall, in her article "FamilySearch Indexing: Want Free Indexed Records Online? Become a Volunteer and Help Create Them," suggests taking that enthusiam one step further by participating in the indexing process, helping to move the work along and make even more records available sooner. As the saying goes, "Many hands make light work." And as the author points out, there are benefits to the researcher, opportunities to share your expertise and learn even more. This is an exciting time in genealogy and very rewarding to on the inside track.

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Technology helps FamilySearch hit major milestone

FamilySearch volunteers expect to have transcribed more than 325 million names by the end of 2009, just three years after the organization began its online indexing program," according to an article in today's Deseret News, "Technology helps FamilySearch hit major milestone."

The milestone was a number once thought impossible to reach in such a short period of time. In 2006, a few thousand volunteers indexed only 11 million names. But thanks to continuing advances in technology and a growing number of volunteers -- more than 100,000 across five continents -- an estimated half million individual names are indexed each day. At that rate, Paul Nauta, FamilySearch public affairs manager, expects that 500 million names will be transcribed by the end of 2010.

The article goes on to explain the scope of the work and the technological innovation driven by the need of efficient methods. I was struck by two quotes, in particular:

"With the technological advances and the ever-increasing number of indexing volunteers, the Ellis Island historical records -- which a decade ago took 12,000 volunteers 12 years to complete -- would take three weeks to index today. "

"The records FamilySearch contains currently, when digitized, would equal 132 Libraries of Congress or 18 petabytes of data -- and that doesn't include our ongoing acquisition efforts."

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Saturday, May 9, 2009

New FamilySearch: A Database to Capture Your Imagination

The New FamilySearch is being gradually rolled out. If you are aware of a correction that needs to be made to your existing FamilySearch data but you don't have access, how do you correct it? In her second article on the subject, "New FamilySearch: A Database to Capture Your Imagination," Judy Rosella Edwards tells us how.

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Monday, April 27, 2009

New FamilySearch, a sneak peek

FamilySearch is a free online genealogy database that has been around for a number of years. It is undergoing a major overhaul. The new database is not yet available to everyone, but Judy Rosella Edwards, in her article, "New FamilySearch: Depending Upon the Kindness of Strangers," shares her experience as one of the early users and offers advice on how to prepare for using the new system.

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Thursday, July 31, 2008

To be or not to be - FamilySearch and its commercial partnerships

On, this week Kimberly Powell discussed the prevailing angst regarding FamilySearch partnering with various commercial affiliates and what that might mean to the traditionally free access to FamilySearch records the public has come to rely on. On the surface it appears the data will remain free even if the associated images may require a fee, but there appear to be a few other caveats, as well.

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Monday, May 19, 2008

FamilySearch and FamilyLink. bring German collection online

FamilySearch recently announced an inaugural project in concert with, Inc., to digitize and index a valuable German genealogy collection containing over 3.5 million names from the period of 1650-1875. The Brenner Collection contains 3.5 million names on more than 750 rolls of microfilm, representing between 900,000 and 1.5 million images. A final count will be determined once all of the records have been indexed. The complete Brenner Collection database is scheduled to be online at by the end of this year, although segments of the database will be launched in the interim.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

England and Scotland research guides now available

FamilySearch has announced the release of two research tools, "Finding Records of Your Ancestors, England" and "Finding Records of Your Ancestors, Scotland." Free copies can be viewed, downloaded, or printed online at

The guides are designed for those who have already gathered some family history information about their English or Scottish ancestors and are ready to search public and private records. The guides explain different types of records in England and Scotland, and instruct the user when and how to use specific records. Also included are maps, key dates in English and Scottish history, and guides for reading respective genealogical records.

The two guides are the latest additions to a series of free online publications. Others topics include African-American, Danish, Finnish, French, Icelandic, Italian, Jewish, Mexican, Norwegian and Swedish family research.


Friday, May 2, 2008

FamilySearch and focus on British records

FamilySearch announced in a press release today it is working with the UK family history Web site and The National Archives of the United Kingdom to increase access to select British historical records. The first major projects will provide access to millions of names of deceased British soldiers and seamen from the eighteenth to twentieth century. and FamilySearch were recently awarded licenses by The National Archives to digitize and make available both the Chelsea Pensioners retired soldiers records between 1760 and 1914, and the Merchant Seamen's collection of records dating from 1835 to 1941.

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Friday, July 27, 2007

FamilySearch adds Jewish research web site

Earlier this month the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints announced that FamilySearch had added Jewish Family History Resources online to its substantial Jewish genealogical collection. The new Web page located at includes a Jewish genealogy database, a new research guide called Tracing Your Jewish Ancestors and information on thousands of Jews from the British Isles called the Knowles Collection. The Knowles Collection links individuals into family groups which are being added to continuously. The collection is available as a file that can be viewed and edited through most genealogy software programs, as reported in the Jackson Clarion Ledger, "FamilySearch adds Jewish research Web site."

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