Imagine that your ancestors came here from another country (that includes about all of us here in the US). How would you get to see birth certificates or marriage certificates from the 1700's? Well in the past, unless you traveled to that country, or hired someone to travel there for you, you would never know who these people are!
While Ancestry.com, and other websites like it, have been around for a few years now, they are expensive. FamilySearch has them all beat because it is FREE! The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints wants everyone to know who their ancestors are. It really is true that you can't know where you are going if you don't know where you came from. Church members volunteer their time to enter this data by Indexing records. They are then available for everyone in the world to see. I know you can find information about your ancestors too! As an example, here is the marriage certificate for one of my great-great-great-great grandparents.
It is important to remember that you can access this website from anywhere in the world, no matter where you live. Let me give you some information on the new features that were recently added:
- You can add photos and memorable stories to each ancestor you add to your family tree. The best part about this is these stories are available in Google search results so others can see what you wrote. What a wonderful way to connect with other people who share an ancestor with you!
- Just in the past 6 months, 200 million new records have been added from the following countries (listed in no particular order):
- Czech Republic
- United States
- plus many more!
- If you need help, there is now live support to help you! These people volunteer their time to answer your questions over the phone or via chat. How cool is that!
I strongly encourage you to spend some time looking for your ancestors. I can't think of a better gift to give your family this holiday season. All it takes is a few moments of your time!
It is quite rewarding to find the people who made you who you are. I can honestly tell you that I feel so blessed because I know who my ancestors are. I think about them every day! And, I look forward to meeting them someday!