We all want to discover our roots, and for free if it is possible. In this Family Search Website Review I want to show you what this site has to offer and how it can help you.
Please be aware that there are limitations when it comes to using free services. You may either not find what you are looking for or you may need to pay in order to see the full records.
But my advice is to always check to see what you can access for nothing first. Then if you have to pay then so be it.
At the end of the day you owe it to your legacy that you will leave behind to make sure that no stone is left unturned.
Family Search Details:
||4 Million (Names)|
|Family Tree Builder
|Other Features||2 Mobile Apps|
|Help & Support
||Articles, videos, messaging staff, live chat, telephone support
YouTube channel, Research Wiki, Forums, Digitized Books, Courses
|Where to Go||Family Search|
|Bottom Line||Hit & Miss But Worth Checking Out!|
What is the Family Search site?
In a nutshell Family Search is the world’s largest free genealogy search website!
So, if you are new to family history, (or even if you have been tracing your ancestry for a while), you really need to check out this valuable resource.
This site is run by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints and was available to church members as early as 2005. It was finally made available to everyone all over the world four years later in 2009.
Their headquarters are located in Salt Lake City in Utah. Family Search also offer personal assistance to over 4,500 family history centers in 70 countries.
The site contains more than 3 billion names and millions of records within their databases, which is all free to access.
With this amount of information there really is a good chance that you will find your ancestors within their collection.
Hey, I have and it has really helped my genealogy research quite a lot!
Credit: Family Search
The goal of the website is to make the digitized collection of records available to anyone wherever in the world.
And this is made possible by the countless people who volunteer their services and time to bring these records to you.
It is a global effort that helps you and me to research our ancestry for free!
Topics discussed in this post:
- Create and Build Your Family Tree!
- Tools and Features!
- Help and Support
- Pros and Cons
- Do I Recommend Family Search?
When you have finished checking out this site review why not check out my Best Genealogy Sites For Your Family History Research post.
And then after that head on over to Top Ten Reviews where they review the ten best genealogy search websites that are both free to use and subscription based.
* Please share your opinion of Family Search below! *
I would love to hear from you.
Create and Build Your Family Tree!
Family Search is just like any other genealogy search website in that you can create your family tree.
But the best part of it all is that you have access to their records while you research which can be used to build out your tree.
Credit: Web Genealogist
Great features included in this tool!
This feature was made available in 2013, however you will need to register your details in order to start using Family Tree.
But again this is a totally free service.
With this Family Tree feature you will be able to add your ancestors as well as their details such as where they were born, where they married, died, their occupations, and any other such details.
Handy hints are available to you as you enter your ancestors into your tree. These hints will link you to possible records that include your ancestors.
You can also share your tree with other members of the site. This is a fantastic benefit of this feature.
I have found that assistance from others has greatly helped me get details about my ancestors much faster, rather than spending a considerable amount of time finding such information.
Adding photos to your family tree is possible as well!
Remember, genealogy is not just about getting the facts. You want to put a face to the person that you are researching.
Be inspired like me to learn as much as you can about them. Really get to know your ancestors!
You can create a family tree from an existing GEDCOM that you may have. But you will not be able to create or export a GEDCOM file at Family Search.
Partners with other genealogy search websites!
Family Search partnered with other genealogy websites in 2014. This means that even more records are available for you to use for your research.
Three of the world’s biggest genealogy such as Ancestry, FindMyPast and MyHeritage are linked to Family Search.
However, please note that in order to gain full access to these external records you will need to be a subscribing member to these sites.
There is also a connection between Family Search and Billion Graves. This site, as the name suggests, contains a photo collection of a billion graves.
This genealogy site allows you to search for the graves of your ancestors. And in doing so you can get even more vital clues to help you with your research.
The best part about this partnership is that you do not need to leave Family Search in order to use these external resources.
Tools and Features!
As I have already mentioned you have free access to more than a million records. These records come in the form of digital images which are located within a number of different databases.
The Family History Library catalog is contained within the databases, so you also have access to genealogical records from over 110 different countries.
The Family History library includes:
- Over 2.4 million rolls of microfilmed records,
- 742,000 microfiche,
- 310,000 books, serials and other formats, and
- 4,500 periodicals.
Family Search Apps
Many of us nowadays are frequently using mobile devices compared to working at our computers at home.
It makes it so much easier to carry on discovering our ancestry while we are at the library, the archives, the cemetery, or wherever.
Mobile users can easily research for their ancestors with the aid of two apps, FamilySearch Tree and FamilySearch Memories.
Through these apps you can search your family history and archive records, stories and photos that you find.
These apps are available for both iOS and Android users and are available in 10 different languages.
And the best part of these apps, yes you guessed it, it’s FREE!
Help and Support!
Help is provided through the form of Family History Research Wiki. From here you can get research advice as well as learn where to find records that you are after.
To help you with your query you will either need to enter a place or a topic within a search box. Or you can click on the world map.
So, to make full use of this feature think about what you want to know about your ancestor. And also where the event took place for your ancestor.
The Learning Centre also contains Forums, digitized books and free online family history courses.
You can get help and handy tips through social media as well. They are on Facebook, Google + and Twitter.
There are also instructional videos covering a range of topics on their YouTube channel.
And if you still cannot find what you are looking for then you can easily contact them direct for support.
You are able to send them a message, conduct a live chat, (which is available 24/7), or call them.
Pros and Cons
✔ Totally FREE!
✔ Millions of records for you to search through
✔ Build your family tree online
✔ Interact with other users
✔ Get help from other members and staff
✔ Messaging, live chat, and telephone support provided
✔ Help is also available through articles, video, forums, digitized books and courses
❌ Contains millions of records but not as many as the paid subscription sites
❌ Cannot create or export a GEDCOM file
Do I Recommend Family Search?
First of all my advice for anyone who is interested in exploring their family history is to find what you can discover for free.
So, with that said, I can honestly say that Family Search is one resource that you definitely need to check out.
I am quite surprised at how much is available to the visitor if this site.
And that all of this has been brought to you by countless volunteers who also share your passion for finding out where they come from.
You can’t always get what you want!
There have been times though that I have not found what I was looking for on this site. And so I have turned my attention to the paid genealogy sites.
But maybe I was too hasty as I have recently learned that Family Search continuously add records to their collection.
So, what you don’t find today maybe available tomorrow. It’s worth researching another branch in the meantime and come back later to see if there are any new leads.
I am also very impressed with the help and support that is offered. The articles, videos and member assistance is more than enough help for you to get you on your way.
But if you are still stuck then you can also call or video chat with staff for help.
So do I recommend Family Search?
Yes I do recommend Family Search. It’s a free site that can greatly benefit your genealogy research!
Thank You and Please Leave A Comment
I hope you enjoyed this post reviewing the Family Search website and what it has to offer. If you think that this post will be helpful then please share with friends and family using the social media buttons below.
If you have any questions or comments then please leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you.