FamilySearch turns 20 today! This free genealogy website started May 24, 1999 and hosts family history record collections from around the world. Celebrate 20 years of FamilySearch by trying their:
- free Family Tree
- free Historical Records
- free Photo & Memory Gallery & app
- free Digitized book collection
- free Family Tree keepsakes
- free Family Tree Charts
- & more from FamilySearch partner apps!
If you’re new to genealogy, the site is always free but requires that you create an account to access some collections. Some offerings to check out include:
Free Family Tree
- their unified family tree – you can link yourself to the worldwide Family Tree by connecting to an ancestor who is already in the tree, or just start building your own tree for free on their site
- free record matching with automated hints to help you build your family tree
- Search more than 2,000 collections of Historical Records for free
- you can search of all collections or research by location by clicking on an area of the world and looking for collections in that location
- some of the popular collections are listed at OnGenealogy, but an easy way to see every collection at FamilySearch is to use the Browse all published collections feature. A camera icon next to a collection means it contains only images; a camera icon sitting on a box means it contains images and indexed, searchable-text records; and no icon means there are no images, only indexed, searchable-text records.
- there are many options for filtering the collections, including by images only, by place, by time period, by record type (birth, census, land, etc)
- Search Genealogies (trees submitted to FamilySearch that should be independently verified)
- Search the Research Wiki – a robust collection of tips and links for researching any area of the world
- Search the Catalog – this allows you to learn about collections available online at FamilySearch OR offline at the Family History Library and other libraries around the world
- Search the Books (Digital Library) – this is a personal favorite. Many libraries have partnered with FamilySearch and you can browse digitized family histories, local histories, and books from around the world – some books cannot be viewed online due to copyright restrictions, if you get a “copyright restrictions” message you can use the Family History Center locations tool to find a local library or FHC where you can view the book online.
- Search FamilySearch Memories for photos, stories, documents, or audio files that relatives may have uploaded to your common ancestors
- Search People by Last Name, First Name, or Birth Year
- Search the Gallery with List View or Memories not Tagged
- Use the Find photos and stories and filter by all, photos, stories, or documents
- Give back to the community – find an Indexing Project and help make digitized images searchable by text – you view handwritten records and type the names and dates you see into pre-formatted text fields linked to an image
Create a Family History
- Use the Family Tree, Family Booklet to create a family history for your posterity. If you have a family tree at FamilySearch you can use your FamilySearch ID to create a booklet for your family tree or the Help Others tab shows you how to log in for others so you can create a booklet using their family tree.
- Download a PDF of the Family Booklet you built, “My Family: Stories That Bring Us Together” with pages for as many generations as you choose to include.
- Use the FamilySearch Solutions Gallery to find partnering companies and mobile apps for iOS and Android devices to help you further your family history work
- family tree charts – check out TreeSeek.com
- family history games
- family tree management apps
- photo and story apps, check out The Family History Guide
- research assistance apps, check out The Family History Guide
- specialty and maps apps
- tree analyzing apps
- LDS partnering apps, free to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
- Use the link in this blog to connect to a Keepsakes Campaign where you can generate a family tree keepsake for free, download the file, and print at your own expense
Celebrate 20 years with FamilySearch by trying a new feature or app. Best with your family history research!