As well as over six bil­lion search­able names, Fam­il­y­Search now has a stag­ger­ing two bil­lion digi­tised record images. Sharon Hintze ex­plains how to find these records and how you can help build the world’s largest fam­ily tree

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - NEWS -

Dis­cover bil­lions of records for free on the world’s big­gest fam­ily his­tory site

For many years Fam­il­y­Search has been known chiefly for abun­dant tran­scribed records from more than 100 coun­tries, but not for huge col­lec­tions of digital images. Not any more. There are now more than two bil­lion images on Fam­il­y­Search. It can some­times be tricky to find the record you are look­ing for on a site so big. You prob­a­bly search in col­lec­tions on the His­tor­i­cal Records data­base. But the images there, both in­dexed and image-only, con­sti­tute only 60 per cent of the images on Fam­il­y­Search.

The other 40 per cent are found in the ‘Fam­il­y­Search Cat­a­log’(for­merly Fam­ily His­tory Li­brary Cat­a­log). Many of these ‘Cat­a­log Only’ records are es­sen­tially pro­vid­ing a sub­sti­tute for mi­cro­film cir­cu­la­tion which ceased in Septem­ber 2017. Most can be seen at home when signed in with a free Fam­il­y­Search ac­count, but due to re­stric­tions by some ar­chives and record hold­ers, oth­ers can only be viewed at one of the more than 5,000 LDS Fam­ily His­tory Cen­tres or at LDS nom­i­nated ‘Af­fil­i­ate Li­braries’. The So­ci­ety of Ge­neal­o­gists is one of these, and dozens more or­gan­i­sa­tions will likely be ap­proved as af­fil­i­ates dur­ing 2018.

Learn­ing to use this new source of digi­tised record images is vi­tal. While last year about 250 mil­lion new search­able tran­scribed records were added to His­tor­i­cal Records, only 33 mil­lion images were added. On the other hand, a whop­ping 363 mil­lion images were added to those which can only be ac­cessed through the Cat­a­log. It is highly likely that by the end of 2018 more than half the images avail­able on Fam­il­y­Search will be through the Cat­a­log. And re­mem­ber, Fam­il­y­Search is not just adding Bri­tish records, but images and tran­scrip­tions from all around the world.

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