FamilySearch

FamilySearch.org

is a free site sponsored by the Mormon Church. It gives access to many first and second hand records available to the public through their family history centers and this website.

The user will be able to find many of the census records indexed on this site including US and English records. The current disadvantage is that indexes give basic census information for your family but they are not usually linked to actual photographs of the census records for complete analysis.   That is changing.  FamilySearch has recently added 2.5 billion free records online for countries like Canada, England, Hungary, Italy, Russia, and the U.S. in its historic record collections.

Many of the matches one will obtain at FamilySearch.org include their IGI records and Mormon family history researcher trees.  The user should be aware that this is second hand information that can only be used as a guide. Finding the original records that support other genealogist’s work is always a necessary step for any family historian.

This site’s search forms have improved and allow for detail. Matches automatically come up with similar phonetic spellings which is a real plus. If you don’t know this already, before the 1900′s, any phonetic spelling of a name was considered acceptable by record keepers and even by family members themselves.

FamilySearch has a link on their page to 60,000 plus linked articles in Wikipedia. Librarians will argue that this isn’t verified by experts, though any reader can note errors in the Wiki material, so it does have a self correcting nature to it.

If you haven’t yet tried www.familysearch.org, it’s price can’t be beat. FREE- yes, FREE and improving all the time. It’s a good place to look for any new lead in the family.

About Linda Coate

I've been an avid genealogist for my lifetime. I caught the "bug" from my father's stories about my ancestor, Marmaduke Coate, who bought his wife from the Indians for a horse, bridle and saddle. As a librarian, I'm combining these two interest areas to guide the family historian to the best on the net in genealogy. So that you know my background, I have been interviewed multiple times by radio stations across the country and have been the guest speaker at various Genealogy Society meetings including Franklin County, Ohio on Genealogy Software Programs and Online Genealogy. My extensive family tree, a labor of love for over 30 years is at http://www.ancestrees.com. Maybe we are related!
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