How Can I Find My Family History For Free?

FamilySearch is a great online collaborative program

Taking the journey to find your family history and learning about your ancestors can be an amazing journey.  You can discover things you never knew about yourself and your family.   We recommend the FamilySearch program as a way to help you organize and preserve your family history records.

Family temple
Family temple

FamilySearch is a completely free genealogy program that is filled with a lot of great family history data. This program has many great features, but one of its best features is that it is a collaborative program. FamilySearch also has a lot of free data so it is very easy to use their search tools to find your family history for free.

Here are some of the many reasons why we recommend FamilySearch as the online computer program you should use to help you find out more about your family history.

The FamilySearch Program is Completely Free

FamilySearch is completely free. Though it is a program affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints anyone can sign up and use all their data and the FamilySearch program for free.

You can sign up for your free FamilySearch account by clicking here. To get a free account you will need to give some basic free information like your full name, birth date, and gender. You need to also tell them if you are a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If you are not a member of the church, do not click this box.

As stated on the FamilySearch website, here is the FamilySearch mission and commitment to help you find your ancestors and family roots:

“Our commitment to helping people connect with their ancestors is rooted in our beliefs—that families are meant to be central to our lives and that family relationships are intended to continue beyond this life.”

familysearch

Great Things About FamilySearch

FamilySearch has a lot of great things to help you to find your ancestors. Not only is it a world leader in genealogical research, but FamilySearch is the largest genealogy organization in the world.

FamilySearch has also been collecting data and other information for over 100 years. This means it has a very large collection of data to help you find your family history and family roots.

Here is some information on FamilySearch:

  • Data from 100’s of countries around the world. This data is online so you can work on your genealogy research at home on your computer.
  • Actively adding new data to their collections. FamilySearch is constantly adding and new data and resources.
  • Over 4,000,0000,0000 names from around the world. That is a huge database to draw upon.
  • Over 4,745 FamilySearch Centers around the world. You can go into any of these FamilySearch centers and receive free help during their opening hours. Many of these FamilySearch centers also have experts for specific countries or areas of genealogical research. So if you get stuck with your genealogical research, this would be a great place to get some help.
  • 24/7 Free expert phone support. You can also call or contact FamilySearch anytime to ask questions or get help. If you are not sure how to get started and you want to talk to someone, you are welcome to pick up the phone and talk to one of their experts. This is the FamilySearch contact page and on this page, you can find quite a few ways you can contact FamilySearch.

You might ask why FamilySearch would give all this away for free and not require that everyone pay for these services. FamilySearch has stated its purpose as:

“Our purpose is simple—help people connect with their ancestors through easy access to historical records.”

familysearch

This is at the heart of what FamilySearch is all about – helping you to find your ancestors and family through helping you to find the records in an easy and organized manner.

Family Search is a Collaborative Program.

One of the great things about FamilySearch is that it is a collaborative family history program. For any deceased ancestors, you can see their records, but those that are still living are kept confidential.

In speaking of this FamilySearch explains their collaborative program this way:

“FamilySearch is an online app that allows you to collaborate, learn, build, source, share, and preserve your family history with others online.”

familysearch

Here are some of the advantages of this, especially as you are just starting out with your family history research:

  • Find Others Who Are Working Also On Your Family Line – This is perhaps one of the most significant benefits for you to use FamilySearch, especially when just starting on your genealogical research. You may find others who are also working on your family line and they have a lot of data and information.
  • Reduces duplication – Having a collaboration program helps to reduce duplication. What others are working on you can see and vice versa.
  • Divide and conquer the labor – If there are several of you working on the same family line, you can also divide up the labor and work. They can see what you have done on the work and you can see what they have done. FamilySearch will clearly show who has done what, so you will always clearly know what has been changed or added and why.
  • Helps with Accuracy – Since everyone can see the data it can help with accuracy. If you put in something incorrect and you are collaborating with others, they may help you find the correct information.
  • Data is stored online for you – As FamilySearch is an online program if you ever lose your computer or your data, the digital record copies will always be online ready for use. This is a great way for you to store copies of important documents, and photos.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Will Not Solicit You

FamilySearch is an affliate organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But, you do not need to worry that if you give your email address to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that suddenly missionaries will come to knock on your door.

Giving your email address to FamilySearch does not mean you will be automatically contacted by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints without your express permission. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will follow the internet and email the best communication practices and data privacy policies.  

FamilySearch is owned and operated by FamilySearch International, a Utah based corporation that is headquartered in Salt Lake City Utah.

If you want to know more about the FamilySearch Privacy Policy you can read their privacy policy on their website by clicking here. If you still have questions about how they use your data, you can contact them via email or fax to find out more about the FamilySearch privacy policy. They will be happy to answer any of your questions or concerns.

As FamilySearch is a collaborative program, if you agree, you may get some emails from FamilySearch about new records or some ancestors they may have found for you.  I really love this feature.  Just the other day I got a notice they found some records for one of my ancestors and a grave photo.   This is a great way that they work to help you with your genealogy and finding out more about your family history. As with all things you can accept or reject these changes to your family history data.

But if you do not want to receive any contact from FamilySearch even about the records, you can always opt for them not to contact you. This kind of information and contact is optional.  FamilySearch will always follow the best communication and data privacy practices.

When you are starting to search for your ancestors and family history we find the FamilySearch program as a great program and resource. Not only is this genealogical program completely free but it has a huge database you can search. As it is a collaborative program you may find others who are also working on your family line.

Why Travel To Find Your Family History?

We can travel to find out family history and family roots. During these travels, we can learn a lot about ourselves and our family roots when we travel and meet family members in faraway lands and places. We can learn from them about the lives of our ancestors who have gone before us. Knowing our family roots can give us a sense of belonging. When we get to know the stories of our ancestors it can inspire our lives.

To discover more about this you can read our blog Traveling to Discover Your Family Tree and Your Roots by clicking here.

What Should I Prepare Before I Travel To Visit Relatives?

Before you go on a family history trip to find your ancestry you should first take the time to do some genealogical research. You can start by interviewing your oldest relatives or friends in person or over the computer or phone. Be sure to also organize your genealogical records onto an online program. Do a lot of your genealogical research online. Consider also getting a DNA Test. Contact and research places you can visit while at your travel location to find the records you are looking for.

You can read our full 10 suggestions by reading our blog 10 Tips for Preparing A Trip to Find Your Ancestors by clicking here.

Anita L Hummel

Hi, I live in Hanoi, Vietnam but spend time traveling the region. I love to share with you things I see and learn through my travels.

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