What's New at FamilySearch?

New Records Added in April, 2019

FamilySearch expanded its free online archives in April of 2019 with an astounding 47.4 million new indexed family history records from all over the world. Over 272,000 new digital images were added as well. New historical records were added from Australia, Canada, Colombia, the Cook Islands, England, France, French Polynesia, Italy, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Peru, the Philippines, South Africa, the United Kingdom, Venezuela, Wales, and the United States, which includes Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming. United States records also include Border Crossings from Canada, Freedmen’s Bureau Ration Records, World War I Draft records, and World War I Service Questionnaires. FamilySearch also added digital images from BillionGraves, Colombia, and Missouri.

To see the entire list go to https://www.familysearch.org/blog/en/new-records-april-2019/?et_cid=1404012&et_rid=105836459&linkid=CTA1&cid=em-fsulds-8323

New Records added to FamilySearch, Week of February 11, 2019

FamilySearch added new, free, historical records this week from Argentina, Mexico, Spain, and the United States (Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Oregon, Texas, Revolutionary War, and Utah Early Church records). To see links to the specific records, go to https://media.familysearch.org/new-historical-records-on-familysearch-week-of-february-11-2019/

FamilySearch’s 2 Billion Digitized Records

May 25, 2018 By Laurie Bradshaw

FamilySearch recently published its 2 billionth digital image of historical records. Yes, that’s billion with a “B.”

These digital images of records are an invaluable source for discovering new details about your family’s story. Access to the 2 billion images is organized in three main places on the site—the FamilySearch historical records collectioncatalog, and online books. We’ve prepared a free guide that explains how to perform searches in these areas.

Give Me a Hint

The indexed portion of this massive record collection is also used by the site to automatically search for your ancestors. These searches result in “hints” that appear in the pedigree and person page views of Family Tree. They also appear in the Family Tree mobile app. Hints help you add ancestors to the tree and make connections that would have taken much longer if you were doing the searches manually. Learn more about Record Hints.

All Digital, All the Time

For more than 80 years, FamilySearch microfilmed historical records for use in family history research. These microfilmed records require an extra step—scanning—to make them accessible online. Starting in 2017, FamilySearch discontinued microfilm in favor of digitizing records using cameras.

This all-digital workflow has increased efficiency at a crucial time. Preserving physical copies of genealogy records in archives is, in many cases, a race against the clock. Poor storage conditions, world conflict, scheduled destruction, and natural disasters are just some of the threats that physical records face. Digital preservation ensures that more records can be saved as quickly, and as accurately, as possible (see FamilySearch’s Strategy to Help Preserve the World’s Archives).

The Role of Indexing

It’s important to note the difference between digital record images and indexed records. A large portion of the digital images on FamilySearch are unindexed. They can be viewed using an image viewer, but can’t be searched by name and other search variables like a fully indexed collection would be.

Anyone can help in the process of indexing record images like these after they are digitized. Learn more about how indexing works, and give it it a try.

FamilySearch Digital Records Access Replacing Microfilm



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 September 7, 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.

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 5,000 family history centers in 129 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.