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FamilySearch.org

Nature of Source

The site, created by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), contains historical transcriptions of interest to the genealogist and family historians. The Historical Record Collections (HRC) includes records from all over the world but is best known for the transcripts of baptisms, marriages and deaths extracted from Anglican/Church of England parish registers and non-parochial/nonconformist registers, including those held at Dr. Williams Library, extracted from TNA series RG 4-8. These parish registers and nonconformist records formed the separate dataset known as the International Genealogical Index (IGI). Other nonconformists registers include records held by the Cheshire Record Office and Bristol Non-Conformist Registers.

The FamilySearch Catalog allows users to search the catalog of genealogical materials (including books, online materials, microfilm, microfiche, and publications) made available by FamilySearch. Many items can be loaned to local Family History Centers around the world.

Data formerly sold on CD as the British Isles Vital Records Index (BIVRI) is also included in the HRC. Although the product is discontinued it remains available at many genealogical research libraries and record offices.

The HRC and the IGI is not comprehensive with some parishes only partially covered or not at all. Some of the original IGI microfilm collections were not digitised so only remain accessible at The LDS FamilySearch Centers. Please note that the HRC is a transcribed index and could contain errors, so the original source material should always be consulted which might also contain additional information. A series of articles titled ‘Effective Search Techniques and Sound Research Practices’ by Robert Kehrer of FamilySearch is available at The Ancestry Insider genealogy blog.

FamilySearch contains records from many countries and includes transcripts some with original images from sources such as censuses, probate records, naturalization records, passenger lists and military records. For updates to the indexing projects visit Dick Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter and subscribe to his newsletter for periodic news of additions to FamilySearch. Additions and updates to FamilySearch can also be found at the FamilySearch Blog.

The former Ancestral File and Pedigree Resource File (Pedigrees and family information submitted by members of the LDS church and non-members) can be found under the heading of Genealogies at the search screen. The Family Tree service allows users to create and record family trees and share the information with others. All the user submitted family trees are fully searchable for deceased persons only and can be edited where necessary. Pedigree charts, family group records, and other reports can be generated from the tree. Online training sessions covering Family Tree are available at the Learning Center. Another feature called Photos and Stories allows users to upload, identify/tag and share family photos as well as adding stories to the photos.

FamilySearch Community Trees is a Familysearch.org website containing genealogies from a variety of source material covering specific periods and localities that have been linked according to family relations. Each community tree is a searchable database with views of individuals, families, ancestors and descendants. Also consider searching Family History Books which contains a searchable collection of more than 40,000 digitized genealogy and family history publications. The collection includes heraldic visitations, Phillimore parish register indexes, school registers, Phillimore calendars of wills, family histories, county and local histories, genealogy magazines and how-to books, gazetteers, medieval histories and pedigrees.

The name index of burial records posted on BillionGraves is accessible at FamilySearch. Each record has a link to the image as it is found on the BillionGraves website. BillionGraves is a family history database for records and images from the world's cemeteries. Members of the public can collect photos of headstones in a local cemetery with an iPhone/Android camera app and then upload the photo and headstone transcription.

A separate section containing the original International Genealogical Index remains as a standalone database, so for the moment it remains possible to use the batch numbers to find all occurrences of a name in a particular parish. Batch numbers can be searched at the Hugh Wallis website IGI Batch Numbers - British Isles and North America or at A Guide to the British Batches created by Archer Software. For more information on using the IGI and batch numbers see www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/LIN/igi.html and Using Batch Numbers to Unlock the Secrets Of the IGI. The IGI can also be accessed via the FamilySearch home page by clicking on ‘Search’ and then scrolling down and clicking on ‘Browse All Published Collections’. Then type ‘IGI’ in the ‘Filter by collection name’ and select ‘International Genealogical Index (IGI)’. For details of the world-wide coverage of the IGI, see the ResearchWiki entry ‘International Genealogical Index Coverage’. For the general Research Wiki entry on the IGI see here.

FamilySearch.org operates their TechTips website which provides technology tips for genealogists and family historians covering a variety of subjects, such as how to store photographs for the long term, what mobile applications are available for family historians, how to share files and how to scan images. The site also contains step-by-step guides to help users accomplish a technology-related task, like how to join an online research community and why.

See also
Family History Library/ FamilySearch Centers

Where Found


Period Covered

1500 - 1900

Genealogical Value

Names, addresses, dates and places of birth/baptism, marriage and death/burial. Occupations, family relationships and parentage.

Online Databases