As of Tuesday, September 21st, FamilySearch announced they’ve completed digitizing 2.4 million rolls of microfilm. These are being processed for online access and many are currently available online. Some have restrictions and need to be viewed at your local affiliate library but most are viewable from the comfort of your home. Here’s a short blog with Tips for Unlocking the FamilySearch Collections and below I’ll show you where to go to find the collections at FamilySearch.

Using the Family Search catalog

Here’s the FamilySearch catalog link. To use the catalog, you can type a location like “Syracuse” in the search bar and you’ll need to select from the autosuggestions, which Syracuse you mean. Specify beneath the search bar that you’re looking for online collections. Then find the type of record in their listing of record types. There are some glitches/bugs in their search method so if you run into a problem, restart your search using the search bar.

You can also search for a keyword or surname, etc in the search bar.


Microfilm collections at OnGenealogy

We’re adding these collections to our FamilySearch listings at OnGenealogy. Use the top search bar at OnGenealogy to search for a record type, or just a location.

The records are pinned to the county level location, even if they include city level records (with the exception of big cities, like New York City). So using the OnGenealogy search bar, you’d type “Syracuse” is the “Near” field, let Google autosuggest “Syracuse, NY, USA”, hit the search button/magnifying glass, and then choose Onondaga County. If you don’t know which county/result to select, refine the results by search radius and limit it to 40 miles or so and you’ll be able to find which county Syracuse is in. Then you’ll select Onondaga County NY Genealogy Records at FamilySearch.

New York and New Jersey have been added so far. Here’s a cheat link for finding all the New York listings. New York Genealogy Records Online at FamilySearch and then within that listing you can select any of the counties in New York or select New York City:

Or, below are links to the New York county listings.

Albany County | Allegany County | Bronx County | Broome County | Cattaraugus County | Cayuga County | Chautauqua County | Chemung County | Chenango County | Clinton County | Columbia County | Cortland County | Delaware County | Dutchess County | Erie County | Essex County | Franklin County | Fulton County | Genesee County | Greene County | Hamilton County | Herkimer County | Jefferson County | Kings County | Lewis County | Livingston County | Long Island County | Madison County | Monroe County | Montgomery County | Nassau County | New York City | Niagara County | Oneida County | Onondaga County | Ontario County | Orange County | Orleans County | Oswego County | Otsego County | Putnam County | Queens County | Rensselaer County | Richmond County | Rockland County | Saratoga County | Schenectady County | Schoharie County | Schuyler County | Seneca County | Steuben County | St. Lawrence County | Suffolk County | Sullivan County | Tioga County | Tompkins County | Ulster County | Warren County | Washington County | Wayne County | Westchester County | Wyoming County | Yates County

Back in the ole days

Most of these collections are from microfilm and are only images, so you’ll need to patiently scroll/arrow through pages of records to find what you’re looking for, but this is a huge step up from the days when we had to order a microfilm to be delivered to our nearest family history center, pay the mailing fees, go to the library, relearn how to put the microfilm in the microfilm reader, and then if you found an image you needed, pay to print the image from the reader to a library printer.

Best with your research and family history!

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