FamilySearch Digital Records Access is Replacing Microfilm & Film Distribution is to Cease in August

In a press release dated June 26, 2017, FamilySearch announced that microfilm distribution to branch libraries is ending as of August 31, 2017. While we all expected this would happen at some point, we didn’t expect it would happen now. Digitization of the films held in the Granite Mountain vault in Utah is still ongoing and is expected to continue until expected completion by the end of 2020. According to my calculations, it looks like that for over three years we can’t expect all films to be available that were accessible in the past. Meaning that if you wish to see microfilm that your local Family History Center hasn’t opted to keep for a while, and the data isn’t available online someplace, you’d best plan on a trip to Salt Lake City. Films in the library will stay in place – at least until digitization of that roll is complete.

This has a lot of folks upset. And for good reason. How many people paid extra to have films kept at their local FHC on indefinite loan? I’m sure that number is in the thousands. It seems that indefinite is exactly that. However, since the church has given permission for local priesthood leaders to make local decisions regarding keeping microfilms already in stock, it is already being reported by some Family History Center directors that films on indefinite loan will stay. I wouldn’t expect that to always be the case, however.

As microfilm is being phased out industry-wide, costs of maintaining the viewing and printing machinery have risen. I’m guessing that the possession of low-maintenance microfilm readers by the FHCs will play into whether they try to keep film on hand for a while. Maintenance costs are a big part in the decision to stop film distribution I understand.

A major reason for ceasing the production and distribution of microfilm to the FHCs is that the cost of the film itself has gone out-of-site. I’ve seen it said that the price is as high as $85 per roll. Whether that’s silver or diazo film I don’t know. Diazo film was always cheaper. I don’t know if FamilySearch produced silver or diazo film. Maybe a reader could answer that question in “Comments.”

Now – all this being said – In the long run, we are all thrilled to have access from home to what we once had to view at the local FHC. So we may need patience, but in the end, it looks to be a good thing.

Following is the “updated” press release. Also see the FAQs by clicking here.
June 26,2017 – FamilySearch, a world genealogy leader and nonprofit, announced today its plans to discontinue its 80-year-old microfilm distribution service. The transition is the result of significant progress made in FamilySearch’s microfilm digitization efforts and the obsolescence of microfilm technology. The last day for ordering microfilm will be August 31, 2017. Online access to digital images of the world’s historic records allows FamilySearch to service more people around the globe, faster and more efficiently. See Finding Digital Images of Records on FamilySearch.org and Frequently Asked Questions.

A global leader in historic records preservation and access, FamilySearch and its predecessors began using microfilm in 1938, amassing billions of the world’s genealogical records in its collections from over 200 countries. Why the shift from microfilm to digital? Diane Loosle, Director of the Patron Services Division said, “Preserving historic records is only one half of the equation. Making them easily accessible to family historians and researchers worldwide when they need them is the other crucial component.”

Loosle noted that FamilySearch will continue to preserve the master copies of its original microfilms in its Granite Mountain Records Vault as added backup to the digital copies online.

As the Internet has become more accessible to people worldwide over the past two decades, FamilySearch made the decision to convert its preservation and access strategy to digital. No small task for an organization with 2.4 million rolls of microfilm in inventory and a distribution network of over 5,000 family history centers and affiliate libraries worldwide.

It began the transition to digital preservation years ago. It not only focused on converting its massive microfilm collection, but also in replacing its microfilm cameras in the field. All microfilm cameras have been replaced with over 300 specialized digital cameras that significantly decrease the time required to make historic records images accessible online.

FamilySearch has now digitally reproduced the bulk of its microfilm collection—over 1.5 billion images so far—including the most requested collections based on microfilm loan records worldwide. The remaining microfilms should be digitized by the end of 2020, and all new records from its ongoing global efforts are already using digital camera equipment.

Digital image collections can be accessed today in three places at FamilySearch.org. Using the Search feature, you can find them in Records (check out the Browse all published collections link), Books, and the Catalog. For additional help, see Finding Digital Images of Records on FamilySearch.org.

Transitioning from microfilm to digital creates a fun opportunity for FamilySearch’s family history center network. Centers will focus on simplified, one-on-one experiences for patrons, and continue to provide access to relevant technology, popular premium subscription services, and restricted digital record collections not available to patrons from home.

Centers and affiliate libraries will coordinate with local leaders and administrators to manage their current microfilm collections on loan from FamilySearch, and determine when to return films that are already published online. For more information, see Digital Records Access Replacing Microfilm.

Databases Posted at FamilySearch May 1 through June 1, 2017

The following databases were published or updated at FamilySearch between May 1 and June 1 2017:

Title – Number of Indexed Records – Last Updated

Argentina, Entre Ríos, Catholic Church Records, 1764-1983 – 601,470 – 30 May 2017
Canada, New Brunswick, Saint John, Burial Permits, 1889-1919 – 28,555 – 17 May 2017
Chile, Cemetery Records, 1821-2015 – 251,775 – 10 May 2017
Cook Islands, Civil Registration, 1846-1989 – Browse Images – 03 May 2017
Czech Republic, School Registers, 1799-1953 – Browse Images – 03 May 2017
Denmark, Copenhagen City, Civil Marriages, 1739-1964, Index 1877-1964 – 85,071 – 12 May 2017
El Salvador Civil Registration, 1704-1990 – 875,969 – 02 May 2017
France, Dordogne, Censuses, 1856 – 530,703 – 16 May 2017
Germany, Saxony-Anhalt, Halberstadt Kreisarchiv, Ahnenpäße (Ancestor Passports) – Browse Images – 18 May 2017
Italy, La Spezia, Catholic Church Records, 1838-1857 – Browse Images – 22 May 2017
Mexico, Tabasco, Catholic Church Records, 1803-1970 – 30,805 – 23 May 2017
Namibia, Dutch Reformed Church Records, 1956-1984 – 29,076 – 23 May 2017
Peru, Cusco, Civil Registration, 1889-1997 – 498,265 – 02 May 2017
Peru, Amazonas, Civil Registration, 1939-1998 – 68,565 – 17 May 2017
Peru, Lima, Civil Registration, 1874-1996 – 1,967,704 – 18 May 2017
Peru, Moquegua, Civil Registration, 1850-1996 – 1,554 – 18 May 2017
Russia, Simbirsk Poll Tax Census (Revision Lists), 1782-1858 – Browse Images – 17 May 2017
Spain, Province of Asturias, Municipal Records, 1470-1897 – 62,165 – 11 May 2017
Spain, Province of Teruel, Catholic Church Records, 1565-2013 – Browse Images – 01 May 2017
Switzerland, Fribourg, Census, 1880 – 10,443 – 18 May 2017

UNITED STATES DATABASES
Florida Marriages, 1830-1993 – 1,699,231 – 01 May 2017
Iowa, Poweshiek County Land Records, 1855-1934 – Browse Images – 08 May 2017
Kentucky, County Marriages, 1797-1954 – 1,317,764 – 19 May 2017
Kentucky Marriages, 1785-1979 – 1,493,817 – 19 May 2017
Louisiana, Parish Marriages, 1837-1957 – 1,093,880 – 01 Jun 2017
Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921 – 2,045,611 – 02 May 2017
Missouri, Reports of Separation Notices, 1941-1946 – 367,825 – 01 Jun 2017
New Hampshire, Civil War Service and Pension Records, 1861-1866 – 250,441 – 16 May 2017
New York Book Indexes to Passenger Lists, 1906-1942 – 13,611,543 – 09 May 2017
Utah, Birth Certificates, 1903-1914 – 99,172 – 17 May 2017
Utah, Weber County Marriages, 1887-1941 – 92,337 – 16 May 2017

MISC.
Family Group Records Collection, Archives Section, 1942-1969 – Browse Images – 16 May 2017

BillionGraves Index – 20,861,710 – 01 May 2017

The Family History Library Announces Third Annual Free Block Party

The following is from FamilySearch:

SALT LAKE CITY (May 30, 2017) – The Family History Library and the Church History Museum of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will sponsor the third annual Family History Block Party on Saturday, June 17, 2017, in downtown Salt Lake City, featuring indoor and outdoor activities for the entire family. The event will run from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on West Temple Street from North Temple to South Temple, which will be closed to thru traffic. The event is free and all activities are family-friendly.

The Kenshin Taiko drummers, Malibu Revue, Shanahy, and the Snow Canyon Jazz band will provide live entertainment. Other free outside attractions include a rock-climbing wall, bounce houses, face painting, and participation in pioneer-era games, among other activities. There will also be food trucks and snow cones for nominal fees.

Additional fun activities will be offered inside the library. The new interactive discovery experiences enable visitors to discover their famous relatives, learn about where they come from, digitally dress in time-period costume, record family memories, and more. In the adjacent museum, visitors will meet actors dressed as historical characters walking around and test their detective skills about mysteries behind artifacts in the museum. Children can visit the Tell Me the Stories of Jesus children’s exhibit. Toddlers to 12-year-olds will have fun learning through hands-on play and art projects.

The library is hosting this event to help families of all ages discover what a fabulous resource the Family History Library is for those beginning their family history. The hope is that families will come for the fun, discover something interesting about their ancestors, and return to the library again and again as a family to continue to learn and share their personal family stories.

New! Family Tree Lite – From FamilySearch

The following teaser is from a blog, written by Leslie Albrecht Huber, and posted May 12, 2017 at the FamilySearch blog website.

In recent years, FamilySearch has added a variety of tools that can both enrich your tree and make your research experience faster and more productive. You can attach photos, list sources—and attach or link to them—submit names directly to the temple, use record hints, search partner sites, and more. FamilySearch’s Family Tree mobile app carries these capabilities over to your phone or other mobile device. It’s truly amazing how much FamilySearch can do. But have you ever wished FamilySearch did less?

There are a number of reasons this might be the case. The first is limited available internet bandwidth. All the bells and whistles of FamilySearch.org run smoothly when bandwidth is plentiful. But in situations where it’s not, they can bog down the connection. A simpler site means a faster, less frustrating connection when bandwidth is limited such as in some countries or even just areas with less than stellar internet speed. Bandwidth can also be limited when too many devices are competing with one another. For mobile users watching their data, another benefit of a simpler site is that simplicity means less data used—which could lead to significant money saved.

These are some of the reasons that FamilySearch has released a new streamlined version of FamilySearch’s Family Tree, known appropriately as Family Tree Lite.

Read the full blog.

Genealogy Giants: Comparing the Four Major Websites

“Which genealogy website should I use?” It’s one of the most-asked questions in genealogy — and this quick reference guide answers it!

Use this jammed-packed cheat sheet to quickly and easily compare all of the most important features of the four biggest international genealogy websites: Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.org, Findmypast.com and MyHeritage.com. Then consult it every time your research budget, needs or goals change. Tables, bulleted lists and graphics make this guide as easy to use as it is informative.

Family Roots Publishing purchased a large quantity of these guides, and is making them available at 10% off thru the NGS Conference this week – plus a couple days. The sale runs through May 15. Click on this link to order.

This comprehensive quick reference guide explains:

  • How knowing about all four websites can improve your family history research
  • How the sites stack up when it comes to the numbers of historical records, names in trees, DNA profiles, site users, site languages and subscription costs
  • Unique strengths of each website and cautions for using each
  • What to keep in mind as you evaluate record content between sites
  • Geographic record strengths: A unique table has an at-a-glance comparison for 30+ countries
  • How to see what kinds of records are on each site without subscribing
  • How family trees are structured differently at these websites — and why it matters
  • Privacy, collaboration and security options at each site
  • How DNA testing features differ at the two websites that offer it
  • What you can do with free guest accounts at each website
  • Subscription and free access options

Click on the following link to order:
Genealogy Giants: Comparing the 4 Major Websites QuickGuide, by Sunny Morton; Editor: Lisa Louise Cooke; 8.5×11; 4 pp, 10 mil, tear resistant, water resistant synthetic – folded; April 27 2017; QuickGuide; Item #: Lu27

Sunny Morton is a genealogy writer whose work is read by thousands in magazines and online. As a Contributing Editor at Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems, she frequently posts on the news, but also loves to share quick research tips, reveal little-known resources or take genealogists for an exhilarating dive into deeper research topics and techniques. She’s also the author of My Life & Times: A Guided Journal for Collecting Your Stories.

FREE 5-Day Western European Family History Conference – Both Online and On-Site in Salt Lake City

Oh, Wow! FamilySearch is doing another week-long series of FREE classes – all dealing with Western European research. It looks like classes are being offered dealing with research in Germany, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, and Switzerland. Check out the class titles below. If you can make the time, I’d highly advise stopping and taking those classes that look interesting to you. These classes are available as streaming webinars, or as on-site classes in the classrooms at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Patty and I took a series of similar classes when they were offered last fall, and learned all kinds of things. The following is from FamilySearch:

Salt Lake City, Utah (26 March 2017), FamilySearch’s world-renowned Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, will be offering its free Western European Family History Conference, May 15 to May 19, 2017. Guests can attend classes in person or online. The conference will focus exclusively on select Western European research and is intended for beginning and intermediate researchers. Classes are free, but registration is required due to class size and webinar bandwidth limitations. For more information or to register, go to FamilySearch Wiki. Easily find and share this news release online in the FamilySearch Newsroom.

Classes will be taught by the Family History Library’s staff of experts and guest genealogists. Content will focus primarily on how to research records from Germany, France, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Belgium. Topics addressed will include census, church, immigration, and vital records.

REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED. Use the following links to register for deisired conference classes online or in the library: in-person guests or webinar guests.

DATE / TIME – CLASS (SKILL LEVEL) – WEBINAR | CLASSROOM

  • Mon, 15-May, 9:00 AM – Finding German Places of Origin (Intermediate) – Webinar| Main B/C
  • Mon, 15-May, 10:15 AM – Spelling Variations in German Given and Place Names (Intermediate) – Webinar| Main B/C
  • Mon, 15-May, 11:30 AM – Meyers German Gazetteer Now Online, Indexed and Fully Searchable (Beginner) – Webinar| Main B/C
  • Mon, 15-May, 2:00 PM – German Church Records and Beyond: Deepen Your Research – Using a Variety of Town Records (Intermediate) – Webinar| Main B/C
  • Mon, 15-May, 3:15 PM – Elusive Immigrant: Methods of Proving Identity (Intermediate) – Webinar| Main B/C
  • Tue, 16-May, 9:00 AM – Finding Your French Ancestors Online Part 1 (Intermediate) – Webinar| Main B/C
  • Tue, 16-May, 10:15 AM – Finding Your French Ancestors Online Part 2 (Intermediate) – Webinar| Main B/C
  • Tue, 16-May, 11:30 AM – Finding Your French Ancestors Online Part 3 (Intermediate) – Webinar| Main B/C
  • Tue, 16-May, 2:00 PM – Out of the Ashes of Paris (Intermediate) – Webinar| Main B/C
  • Tue, 16-May, 3:15 PM – Research in Alsace-Lorraine (Intermediate) – Webinar| Main B/C
  • Wed, 17-May, 9:00 AM – Latin for Researchers (Intermediate) – Webinar| Main B/C
  • Wed, 17-May, 10:15 AM – Calendar Changes in France, Germany, Switzerland, and the Low Countries (Intermediate) – Webinar| Main B/C
  • Wed, 17-May, 11:30 AM – Gazetteers and Maps for Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands (Intermediate) – Webinar| Main B/C
  • Wed, 17-May, 2:00 PM – Beginning Research in Luxembourg (Beginner) – Webinar| Main B/C
  • Wed, 17-May, 3:15 PM – Beginning Research in Belgium (Beginner) – Webinar| Main B/C
  • Thur, 18-May, 9:00 AM – Names in Belgium and the Netherlands (Intermediate) – Webinar| Main B/C
  • Thur, 18-May, 10:15 AM – WieWasWie, Past the Index: What to do Next (Intermediate) – Webinar| Main B/C
  • Thur, 18-May, 11:30 AM – Dutch Provincial and City Research (Intermediate) – Webinar| Main B/C
  • Thurs, 18-May, 2:00 PM – Dutch Research Before 1811 (Intermediate) – Webinar| Main B/C
  • Thu, 18-May, 3:15 PM – Finding Your Family in the Amazing Online Amsterdam City – Archives (Intermediate) – Webinar| Main B/C
  • Fri, 19-May, 9:00 AM – Beginning Swiss Research Part 1 (Beginner) – Webinar| Main B/C
  • Fri, 19-May, 10:15 AM – Beginning Swiss Research Part 2 (Beginner) – Webinar| Main B/C
  • Fri, 19-May, 11:30 AM – Swiss Archives Online Records (Intermediate) – Webinar| Main B/C
  • Fri, 19-May, 2:00 PM – Swiss Census Records (Beginner) – Webinar| Main B/C
  • Fri, 19-May, 3:15 PM – Swiss Chorgericht Records (Intermediate) – Webinar| Main B/C

About FamilySearch
FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org or through over 4,921 family history centers in 129 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

New Historic Records Databases Posted at FamilySearch the Week of March 20, 2017


The following is from FamilySearch:

Salt Lake City, Utah (March 25, 2017), Hundreds of thousands of free indexed records from all over Italy are featured in these newly published online collections. Additionally, find newly searchable records from Canada, Ecuador, Germany, The Netherlands, Peru, Sweden and the United States. Search these new free records and more at FamilySearch by clicking on the links in the interactive table below.

Collection – Indexed Records – Digital Images – Comments

Ecuador, Catholic Church Records, 1565-2011 – 73,853 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Germany, Baden, Church Book Duplicates, 1800-1870 – 39,041 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Italy, Prato, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1866-1923 – 15,463 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Italy, Rieti, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1840-1945 – 1,525 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Italy, Enna, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1866-1944 – 108,603 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Italy, Grosseto, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1851-1907 – 155 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Italy, Viterbo, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1870-1943 – 168 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Italy, Mantova, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1496-1906 – 0 – 111,726 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Netherlands, Archival Indexes, Miscellaneous Records – 2,532,170 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Ontario, County Marriage Registers, 1858-1869 – 42,862 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Peru, La Libertad, Civil Registration, 1903-1998 – 28,563 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Peru, Amazonas, Civil Registration, 1939-1998 – 2,668 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Sweden, Norrbotten Church Records, 1612-1923; index 1658-1860 – 6,531 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Sweden, Kopparberg Church Records, 1604-1900; index 1628-1860 – 7,194 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Find A Grave Index – 3,390,197 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

UNITED STATES DATABASES

Alaska, Vital Records, 1816-1959 – 18,844 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

New Hampshire, Civil War Service and Pension Records, 1861-1866 – 72,842 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

New York State Census, 1865 – 18,804 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Pennsylvania, Eastern District Petitions for Naturalization, 1795-1931 – 61,584 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Searchable historic records are made available on FamilySearch.org through the help of thousands of volunteers from around the world. These volunteers transcribe (index) information from digital copies of handwritten records to make them easily searchable online. More volunteers are needed (particularly those who can read foreign languages) to keep pace with the large number of digital images being published online at FamilySearch.org. Learn more about volunteering to help provide free access to the world’s historic genealogical records online at FamilySearch.org/indexing.

New Historic Records Databases Posted at FamilySearch the Week of Feb 13 2017

The following is from FamilySearch:

Another 15 million indexed historic records have been added to FamilySearch’s vast collections. Included are a wide variety of records from 13 countries (including Argentina, Australia, Denmark, England, and the Netherlands) containing passenger lists, obituaries, school records, marriage records and more. And check out the 7 million Oklahoma school, Illinois church, Louisiana World War I Service, Michigan obituary, and North Carolina county marriage records. Search these free records and more at FamilySearch by clicking on the links in the interactive table below.

Collection – Indexed Records – Digital Images – Comments

Argentina, La Pampa, Catholic Church Records, 1882-1976 – 61,602 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Argentina, Mendoza, Catholic Church Records, 1665-1975 – 273,551 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Australia, Victoria, Outward Passenger Lists, 1852-1924 – 1,598,094 – 116,274 – New indexed records and images collection
Australia, New South Wales, Deceased Estate Files, 1880-1923 – 211,390 – 0 – New indexed records collection
British Newspaper Archives, Obituaries – 1,795,894 – 237,537 – New indexed records and images collection
Chile Civil Registration, 1885-1903 – 182,479 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Chile, Cemetery Records, 1821-2015 – 54,266 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Croatia, Delnice Deanery Catholic Church Books, 1725-1926 – 47,665 – 3,485 – Added indexed records and images to an existing collection
Czech Republic, School Registers, 1799-1953 – 0 – 2,011,878 – Added images to an existing collection
Denmark, Copenhagen City, Civil Marriages, 1739-1964, Index 1877-1964 – 33,214 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Honduras, Civil Registration, 1841-1968 – 71,620 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Hungary, Jewish Vital Records Index, 1800-1945 – 746 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Hungary Civil Registration, 1895-1980 – 41,377 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Netherlands, Archival Indexes, Miscellaneous Records – 728,435 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Philippines Civil Registration (Local), 1888-1986 – 68,551 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Sweden, Västernorrland Church Records, 1501-1940; index 1650-1860 – 0 – 1,313 – Added images to an existing collection

UNITED STATES DATABASES
California, County Birth and Death Records, 1800-1994 – 3,422 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
California, County Marriages, 1850-1952 – 27,451 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
District of Columbia Court and Emancipation Records, 1820-1863 – 0 – 12,462 – New browsable image collection.
Illinois, Chicago, Catholic Church Records, 1833-1925 – 194,888 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Louisiana World War I Service Records, 1917-1920 – 74,174 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Michigan Obituaries, 1820-2006 – 449,089 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
New York Book Indexes to Passenger Lists, 1906-1942 – 557,105 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
New York State Census, 1865 – 0 – 392 – Added images to an existing collection
North Carolina, County Marriages, 1762-1979 – 770,164 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Ohio Tax Records, 1800-1850 – 487,520 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Oklahoma, School Records, 1895-1936 – 7,397,703 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
United States Passport Applications, 1795-1925 – 19,345 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Searchable historic records are made available on FamilySearch.org through the help of thousands of volunteers from around the world. These volunteers transcribe (index) information from digital copies of handwritten records to make them easily searchable online. More volunteers are needed (particularly those who can read foreign languages) to keep pace with the large number of digital images being published online at FamilySearch.org. Learn more about volunteering to help provide free access to the world’s historic genealogical records online at FamilySearch.org/indexing.

World War I Service Cards for N.C. Vets Released to the Public on FamilySearch

The following excerpt is from the November 12, 2016 edition of pilotonline.com:

wwi-cornett-card-from-the-nc-archives_300pw

BARCO, N.C. – Capt. Basil Sherwood Snowden of Currituck County joined the Army on Sept. 2, 1917, as part of the 318th Engineers.

He died in a motorcycle accident in Gevrolles, France, in December the following year at 30 years old. He had been promoted to captain just two months earlier.

That brief but poignant information comes from a small document filled in with a typewriter and some scribbling almost 100 years ago.

World War I service cards from the State Archives of North Carolina are now available online at FamilySearch.org, according to a news release from the agency. The database of about 80,000 North Carolinians who served in the war allows searches by name, birthplace and life events.

Read the full article.

Check out the database at FamilySearch.org.

New Historic Records Databases Added On FamilySearch the Week of November 7 & 14, 2016

The following is from FamilySearch:

FamilySearch-Logo-2014p

Over 4 million birth, death, census, civil, church, and other indexed records were published and made available the week of November 7 at FamilySearch this week. Find new historical records from South Africa, Peru, Netherlands, Russia, Philippines, and across the United States including Illinois, Iowa, Utah, Alabama, Oregon, South Dakota and Tennessee.

Collection – Indexed Records – Digital Images – Comments

BillionGraves Index – 313,368 – 313,368 – Added indexed records and images to an existing collection

Netherlands Archival Indexes Miscellaneous Records – 939 – 0 – New indexed records collection

Peru Puno Civil Registration 1890-2005 – 8 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Philippines Manila Civil Registration 1899-1984 – 252,908 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Russia Tatarstan Church Books 1721-1939 – 0 – 426,296 – Added images to an existing collection

South Africa Free State Dutch Reformed Church Records 1848-1956 – 317,868 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

UNTTED STATES DATABASES

Alabama Census of Confederate Veterans 1907, 1921, 1927 – 0 – 13,710 – New browsable image collection.

Illinois Archdiocese of Chicago Cemetery Records 1864-1989 – 1,921,208 – 1,623,555 – New indexed records and images collection

Iowa Delayed Birth Records 1850-1939 – 540,796 – 419,728 – New indexed records and images collection

Iowa Death Records 1921-1940 – 516,904 – 475,273 – New indexed records and images collection

Oregon Births 1860-1952 – 12,923 – 0 – New indexed records collection

South Dakota School Records 1879-1970 – 59,241 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Tennessee Birth Records (ER Series) 1908-1912 – 212,545 – 213,127 – New indexed records and images collection

Utah Birth Certificates 1903-1914– 29 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Items Added the Week Of November 14, 2016

Check out the astounding 11.8 million new records from the New York Passenger List indexes! Also, more immigration records and other historic records were recently published in American Samoa, Brazil, Chile, Peru, South Africa, Venezuela, and the United States. Many thanks go to the diligent indexers around the world for completing these projects.

Collection – Indexed Records – Digital Images – Comments

American Samoa Passenger Lists and Travel Documents 1918-1965 – 0 – 6,563 – New browsable image collection.

Brazil Pernambuco Civil Registration 1804-2014 – 272,691 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Chile Civil Registration 1885-1903 – 1,792,848 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Peru Lambayeque Civil Registration 1873-1998 – 168 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Peru Amazonas Civil Registration 1939-1998 – 32,618 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Peru La Libertad Civil Registration 1903-1998 – 189,810 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

South Africa Cape Province Kimberley Probate Records of the Supreme Court 1871-1937 – 148,844 – 96,578 – New indexed records and images collection

Venezuela Diocese of San Cristóbal Catholic Church Records 1601-1962 – 688,583 – 128,484 – New indexed records and images collection

United States Databases

California Chinese Partnerships and Departures from San Francisco 1893-1943 – 54,617 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Maine J. Gary Nichols Cemetery Collection ca. 1780-1999 – 1,815 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Massachusetts Index to Boston Passenger Lists 1848-1891 – 24,002 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

New York Book Indexes to Passenger Lists 1906-1942 – 11,883,075 – 748,065 – New indexed records and images collection

New York Rouses Point and Waddington Crew Lists 1954-1956 – 4,158 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

North Carolina World War I Service Cards 1917-1919 – 92,649 – 92,578 – New indexed records and images collection

Pennsylvania Obituary and Marriage Collection 1947-2010 – 0 – 5,996 – Added images to an existing collection

Rhode Island Town Clerk Vital and Town Records 1630-1945 – 0 – 198,109 – Added images to an existing collection

Washington Applications for Enrollment and Adoption of Washington Indians 1911-1919 – 51,169 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

West Virginia Naturalization Records 1814-1991 – 717 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Searchable historic records are made available on FamilySearch.org through the help of thousands of volunteers from around the world. These volunteers transcribe (index) information from digital copies of handwritten records to make them easily searchable online. More volunteers are needed (particularly those who can read foreign languages) to keep pace with the large number of digital images being published online at FamilySearch.org. Learn more about volunteering to help provide free access to the world’s historic genealogical records online at FamilySearch.org/indexing.

Free Family History Library Classes/Webinars for November 2016

These classes and workshops are designed to help individuals and families find their ancestors and teach others family history techniques.

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November 3 – 1:00 P.M. British Case Studies Webinar
November 5 – 1:00 P.M. Reading Spanish Handwriting Webinar
November 8 – 11:00 A.M. Ask Your United States Research Question Webinar; 1:00 P.M. Lessons on English Life: A Fun Look at English Parish Registers
November 9 – 10:00 A.M. Italian Language Indexing Webinar (1½ hours)
November 10 – 1:00 A.M. Descendancy Research Webinar
November 14 – 1:00 P.M. Reivers and Relatives: Ancestors Along the Anglo-Scottish Border Webinar
November 15 – 2:00 P.M. Exploring Danish Census Records Online Webinar
November 16 – 10:00 A.M. French Language Indexing Webinar (1½ hours) – 10:00 A.M. GENTEAM.AT—A Necessity When Doing Czech and Austrian Research Webinar; 1:00 P.M. Lost in London: Tracing Elusive Ancestry in England’s Largest City Webinar
November 17 – 11:00 A.M. Learn How to Use the Online, Searchable Meyer’s German Gazetteer Webinar; 1:00 P.M. Your British Questions Answered Webinar
November 19 – 10:00 A.M. Boy Scout Genealogy Merit Badge (1½ hours) Note: To register, call 1-801-240-4673 at least 1 week before the workshop to find out which requirements should be completed before attending; 1:00 P.M. Preguntas frequentes de Árbol Familiar Webinar
November 22 – 1:00 P.M. Using Digital Libraries for German Family History Research Webinar
November 30 – 10:00 A.M. Dutch Language Indexing Webinar (1½ hours)

Access the online webinars directly at this link or go to FamilySearch.org. Click on Search, and select Wiki. Type Webinars and choose the second entry. Click on Upcoming Classes and Seminars, then the name of the month. Scroll to find the desired class.

Unique FamilySearch Center Opens in Layton, Utah

The following News Release is from FamilySearch:

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Salt Lake City, Utah (31 October 2016) – Grandparents, parents, and children are exploring their family histories together in ways that were unimaginable just a few short years ago. At the new Layton Utah FamilySearch Center, located at 915 West Gordon Avenue, families huddle around 55″ touch-screen monitors, discovering the stories and photos of their ancestors and discussing how their stories provide inspiration in facing their own daily challenges. The open house for the new center will begin Thursday, November 3, at 1:00 p.m., and it will run Friday and Saturday, November 4 and 5 from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. The facility is free to the public.

“Our hope is that the Layton FamilySearch Center will feed and enlarge what Alex Haley called a ‘marrow-deep’ hunger to know our heritage; that what we discover and experience here will not only shore up our identity, but also clarify our potential,” said Elder Kyle S. McKay, Area Seventy for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and local ecclesiastical leader for the Layton area. Elder McKay added what one young man recently said following his family history experience: “When I consider what my ancestors did, I sometimes feel that I am nothing. Other times I feel that, because of them, I am everything and can do anything.”

Family members of all ages will love exploring the family room and new children’s areas in the new 14,000-square-foot facility. Families can play games together, and they can learn how Grandma and Grandpa met and fell in love. Families and youth groups love creating and preserving favorite family stories and moments through using the free high-definition audio and video recording studios. The recordings can be emailed instantly.

“This remarkable state-of-the-art facility is designed to personalize the family history experience for all ages. Our guests have been enthusiastic and excited about discovering new family connections and are enlightened and blessed by their stories,” explained Lyle R. Elmore, who with his wife, Linda M. Elmore, serve as co-directors of the new center.

Youth groups will appreciate the inviting modern design, casual seating, collaboration areas, and interactive learning stations that will help them discover the meaning of their names and other interesting facts about their name and the year they were born.

Special equipment will also enable guests to transfer precious family memories from VHS tapes to DVD. Equipment is also available to help people digitally preserve printed family photos and scrapbooks so they can be preserved on USB drives or uploaded directly to FamilySearch.org where they can be preserved long term and readily shared.

Steve Rockwood, CEO of FamilySearch International, explained the attraction of the center: “Family history continues to grow in popularity, driven by strong positive emotions and insatiable curiosity to know more about who we are and made possible by amazing technologies. The Layton FamilySearch Center will be a great gathering place and blessing to everyone who visits, providing continual fun and memorable personal and family discovery experiences.”

It is recommended that guests create a free FamilySearch account at FamilySearch.org and begin building their family tree before their arrival. By creating their family tree online and adding family photos and stories prior to coming, your visit to the new facility will be personalized and greatly enhanced. For additional information or to book group reservations, visit the center’s website at familysearch.org/fhc/layton.

The hours for the public open house are:

  • Thursday, November 3, 2016, 1:00–9:00 p.m.
  • Friday and Saturday, November 4–5, 2016, 9:00 a.m.– 9:00 p.m.

The center will officially open to the public on Tuesday, November 8, 2016. Normal hours of operation will be Monday and Friday 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.; Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday 9:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.; and Saturday 9:00 a.m.– 1:00 p.m.

The center is located at 915 West Gordon Avenue, Layton, Utah.

About FamilySearch
FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org or through over 4,921 family history centers in 129 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

New Historic Records Databases at FamilySearch the Week of October 24, 2016

The following is from FamilySearch:

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SALT LAKE CITY, UT — Free, searchable census records from Ghana, The Czech Republic, and New Jersey this week at FamilySearch.org. New historic records were also added from Sweden, Netherlands, Russia, and the United states, including almost 2 million indexed land allotment records for five Native American tribes (Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek and Seminole) in Oklahoma.

Collection – Indexed Records – Digital Images – Comments

Benin Civil Registration of Deaths 1891-2014 – 0 – 21,173 – New browsable image collection.

Czech Republic Censuses and Inhabitant Registers 1800-1990 – 0 – 1,646,966 – Added images to an existing collection

Ghana Census 1984 – 1,027,048 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Netherlands Noord-Holland Civil Registration 1811-1950 – 522,065 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Russia Lutheran Church Book Duplicates 1833-1885 – 78,912 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Sweden Kopparberg Church Records 1604-1900; index 1628-1860 – 0 – 612 – Added images to an existing collection

Sweden Västernorrland Church Records 1501-1940; index 1650-1860 – 0 – 657 – Added images to an existing collection

Sweden Kalmar Church Records 1577-1907; index 1625-1860 – 0 – 838 – Added images to an existing collection

Sweden Halland Church Records 1615-1904; index 1615-1860 – 756,493 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

UNITED STATES DATABASES

Florida Confederate Veterans and Widows Pension Applications 1885-1955 – 497 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Maine World War I Draft Registration Index 1917-1919 – 162,613 – 167,344 – New indexed records and images collection

Missouri Reports of Separation Notices 1941-1946 – 0 – 378,579 – Added images to an existing collection

New Jersey State Census 1865 – 212,731 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Oklahoma Applications for Allotment, Five Civilized Tribes 1899-1907 – 1,846,931 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Searchable historic records are made available on FamilySearch.org through the help of thousands of volunteers from around the world. These volunteers transcribe (index) information from digital copies of handwritten records to make them easily searchable online. More volunteers are needed (particularly those who can read foreign languages) to keep pace with the large number of digital images being published online at FamilySearch.org. Learn more about volunteering to help provide free access to the world’s historic genealogical records online at FamilySearch.org/indexing.

About FamilySearch.org
FamilySearch is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources for free at FamilySearch.org or through more than 4,921 family history centers in 129 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

FamilySearch Database Collections Added or Updated the Weeks of October 3 & 10, 2016

The following is from FamilySearch:

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WEEK OF OCTOBER 10 RECORDS ADDED OR UPDATED

FamilySearch added significant historic records online for Belgium, Maine, New Zealand, and Tennessee, and Revolutionary War records for Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and North Carolina. Special thanks to the volunteer indexers continuing work on the United States Marriages project. You can see the fruits of your labors this week with the newly published Tennessee County Marriages collection. See the interactive table below for these and more historic records added this week at FamilySearch.org.

Collection – Indexed Records – Digital Images – Comments

Argentina Mendoza Catholic Church Records 1665-1975 – 136857 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Belgium Antwerp Civil Registration 1588-1913 – 2451 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Belgium Limburg Civil Registration 1798-1906 – 7995 – 57091 – Added indexed records and images to an existing collection

Belgium East Flanders Civil Registration 1541-1914 – 851 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Belgium Liège Civil Registration 1621-1914 – 64333 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Colombia Catholic Church Records 1576-2014 – 1189 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Germany Hesse Civil Registration 1874-1927 – 7093 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Germany Baden Stebbach Church Book Extracts 1675-1951 – 0 – 194 – New browsable image collection.

Germany Prussia Westphalia Minden Miscellaneous Collections from the Municipal Archives 1574-1912 – 0 – 403 – Added images to an existing collection

New Zealand Archives New Zealand Probate Records 1843-1998 – 134 – 219990 – Added indexed records and images to an existing collection

New Zealand Archives New Zealand Civil Records Indexes 1800-1896 – 857382 – 0 – New indexed records collection

Philippines Civil Registration (National) 1945-1984 – 0 – 427 – Added images to an existing collection

UNITED STATES DATABASES

Alaska Vital Records 1816-1959 – 0 – 2106 – Added images to an existing collection

Iowa State Census 1915 – 55431 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Maine Vital Records 1670-1921 – 576750 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Maine Revolutionary War Bounty Land Applications 1835-1838 – 4952 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Massachusetts Revolutionary War Bounty Land Applications 1805-1845 – 616 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

New Hampshire Revolutionary War Records 1675-1835 – 83366 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

North Carolina Revolutionary Pay Vouchers 1779-1782 – 48887 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Ohio County Marriages 1789-2013 – 0 – 121 – Added images to an existing collection

Tennessee County Marriages 1790-1950 – 71496 – 4251 – Added indexed records and images to an existing collection

WEEK OF OCTOBER 3 RECORDS ADDED OR UPDATED

This week’s collection update is well worth the wait, containing almost 3.5 million newly published indexed records and 2.3 million additional digital images from Australia, Denmark, England, Ghana, Nicaragua, Poland, Spain, Sweden, and the US (Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, Oklahoma, Utah, and the Revolutionary War). See the interactive table below for these and more historic records added this week at FamilySearch.org. Join our online indexing volunteers anytime and help make more of these exciting collections discoverable to more people. Find out how at FamilySearch.org/Indexing.

Collection – Indexed Records – Digital Images – Comments

BillionGraves Index – 155,369 – 155,369 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Australia Victoria Inquest Deposition Files 1840-1925 – 101,646 – 903,420 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Australia Tasmania Civil Registration of Births 1899-1912 – 69,290 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Denmark Probate Indexes 1674-1851 – 82,878 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

England Warwickshire Parish Registers 1538-1963 – 61,201 – 54,925 – Added images to an existing collection

Ghana Census 1984 – 30,138 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Great Britain War Office Registers 1772-1935 – 204 – 3,617 – New indexed records collection

Nicaragua Civil Registration 1809-2013 – 0 – 580,218 – New browsable image collection.

Poland Lublin Roman Catholic Church Books 1784-1964 – 5,253 – 0 – New indexed records and images collection

Poland Radom Roman Catholic Church Books 1587-1966 – 16,352 – 0 – Added images to an existing collection

Spain Diocese of Ávila Catholic Church Records 1502-1975 – 11,671 – 0 – New indexed records collection

Spain Diocese of Santander Catholic Church Records 1538-1985 – 63,919 – 4,551 – New indexed records and images collection

Sweden Uppsala Church Records 1308-1901; index 1613-1860 – 67,400 – 0 – Added indexed records and images to an existing collection

Sweden Älvsborg Church Records 1642-1897; index 1681-1860 – 39,335 – 0 – New indexed records collection

Sweden Södermanland Church Records 1604-1900; index 1640-1860 – 61,471 – 387 – Added indexed records and images to an existing collection

UNITED STATES DATABASES

Arkansas Church Marriages 1860-1976 – 542 – 2,050 – Added images to an existing collection

California County Marriages 1850-1952 – 6,019 – 0 – New indexed records and images collection

Florida County Marriages 1830-1957 – 706,891 – 528,618 – New indexed records and images collection

Georgia Church Marriages 1787-1962 – 182 – 0 – New browsable image collection.

Georgia Church Marriages 1754-1960 – 1,535 – 3,012 – New indexed records and images collection

Illinois Cook County Obituaries ca. 1970-1990 – 293,091 – 35,504 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Minnesota Passenger and Crew Lists 1912-1956 – 31,305 – 34,589 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

New York New York City Police Census 1890 – 1,479,855 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Oklahoma Church Marriages 1852-1948 – 314 – 0 – Added indexed records and images to an existing collection

Utah Birth Certificates 1903-1914 – 13,249 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Washington County Marriages 1855-2008 – 0 – 14,958 – Added indexed records and images to an existing collection

Applications for Enrollment and Adoption of Washington Indians 1911-1919 – 0 – 6,392 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

United States Revolutionary War Pension Payment Ledgers 1818-1872 – 156,667 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Searchable historic records are made available on FamilySearch.org through the help of thousands of volunteers from around the world. These volunteers transcribe (index) information from digital copies of handwritten records to make them easily searchable online. More volunteers are needed (particularly those who can read foreign languages) to keep pace with the large number of digital images being published online at FamilySearch.org. Learn more about volunteering to help provide free access to the world’s historic genealogical records online at FamilySearch.org/indexing.

Family History Library in Salt Lake City Begins Construction of New Discovery Center

The new Discovery Center on the ground floor of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City is now under construction. The following news release is from FamilySearch. Check out the time-lapse video covering the construction.

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Salt Lake City, Utah (October 10, 2016) – The popular Family History Library in downtown Salt Lake City has begun construction on its new Family History Discovery Center. When complete, the main floor attraction will create family history experiences for patrons of all ages. The project is on a fast track to be completed in February 2017. Admission will be free to the public.

“We have been excited for quite some time to start construction on the new discovery center,” said Tamra Stansfield, manager of the Family History Library. “Our guests, particularly those who are completely new to family history, will be able to enjoy fun, personal discoveries through interactive technological experiences with their family’s history.”

Stansfield said the new center will make the library another unique and exciting destination for locals, families, and youth groups, as well as for tourists of all ages visiting Utah or Temple Square from around the world.

The Family History Library is the flagship facility in a network of over 4,900 family history centers worldwide managed by FamilySearch International, a nonprofit subsidiary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The fun, engaging activities designed for the discovery center are part of an organizational effort to introduce more people to the many fun facets of personal and family discovery.

FamilySearch is learning that if individuals and families have fun, personalized, quick successes and experiences with their family’s history, they will continue to be more involved at different levels throughout their lives. It also deepens appreciation for family connections across multiple generations.

The new discovery center will create a fun environment for families to discuss their family history together in inviting, unexpected ways. Youth particularly will enjoy the life-size touch-screen computer monitors for some of the interactive stations. In addition, there will be an enclosed space for parents with smaller children that will allow them to explore their family history while also being able to observe their children play.

A fun green-screen feature will let guests choose from a variety of themed backgrounds to create a lasting photo memory of their visit to the discovery center.

The new transformations are designed to offer unique interactive and immersive discovery experiences for visitors of all ages while still offering the vast collections and expertise the library is known for among family history enthusiasts and researchers.

When the new discovery center opens, “We expect to find the next generation of dedicated family historians at play in our library,” said Stansfield.

Many of the interactive features in the new discovery center will use a patron’s family history in the FamilySearch.org Family Tree to create custom learning experiences at a variety of stations. Stansfield suggests individuals and families take the time now during construction to create a free account at FamilySearch.org from home and begin building their family tree, adding favorite family stories and photos together. A developed family tree will enhance their experience when the discovery center opens in 2017.

The Family History Library’s staff and other typical services and historic record collections will continue to be accessible during the construction of the discovery center.

The prototype discovery center currently located in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City will be closed to the public once the new center is opened in 2017 but will continue to operate as a FamilySearch development lab, where future experiences can be created and tested. A smaller discovery center was opened earlier this year in Seattle, Washington.

About FamilySearch
FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org or through over 4,921 family history centers in 129 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Artist’s renderings of the new discovery center can be found online here.