I post about family history regularly on this blog. That is because it is a subject near and dear to me. I believe it is important for everyone (especially children) to know about their family and where they came from. My Church is very involved in creating convenient, easy ways you can find your ancestors. Unlike Ancestry.com, Find My Past.com or My Heritage.com, access to all records stored by the church are free. So, where do you go to find this information? Why, www.familysearch.org, of course!
Click on the Search drop down menu at the top of the page and select Records. Enter the name(s) of the ancestors you know to find the ones you don't. Marriage records are a big help here. Most states (and countries) require the names of parents for anyone asking for a marriage license. This is a great way to find new people you didn't know about!
If you have been to the web site before and were unable to locate anyone, let me assure you new records are added all the time! If you haven't been to the web site in a few months, then millions more records have been added.
Let me give you an example. Last Monday, Family Search wanted to break a record by having over 50,000 people index records in one day. (Indexing is taking digital images of paper records and then keying the information from those records into a database.) I participated in this record breaking event! I am thrilled to say that so did 66,510 other people. We all helped to break the old record of 49,025 indexers participating on one day. The best part of this news is that over 4 million new records have been added to the database. That is 4 million records in one day! Millions and millions of new records are added each year!
Now, lest you think these records are all from the US, let me assure you they are not! Recently, records have been added from Mexico, Argentina, Japan, Canada, Croatia, Peru, Poland, Brazil, England, Germany, Isle of Man, Netherlands, and the United States. Current indexing projects include records from Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Columbia, Ecuador, Canada, Germany, Spain, France, Honduras, Italy, Mexico, Hungary, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, South Africa, Sir Lanka, Sweden, England, Uruguay, Ukraine, Russia, and the United States. WOW! When I say billions of records are currently available, I really mean it!
All of this is done for free. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints will never charge money for you to see any of this work. No matter your religious affiliation, the Church wants everyone to know who their ancestors are! Take some time this week to get to know yours!
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has a FREE web site that you can use to help you locate your ancestors: www.familysearch.org. This web site has all sorts of tutorials and on-line help if you don't know where to start. It has records from all over the world! Anyone, from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection, can access this site to search for their deceased family members. If you want even more help, stop by the family history center at your local church. You do not have to be a church member to use your local family history center. There are family history centers in almost every country in the world!