Genealogy from the perspective of a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon, LDS)

Friday, September 26, 2014

Official Announcement of Free Access to Commercial Family History Websites

Deseret News, 26 September 2014
If you have been using the free partnership accounts from the past few weeks or months, you are probably wondering what the fuss is about. But a news release, blog post and newspaper article here in Utah are all announcing the general availability of, and to the general membership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Here is the official announcement:
SALT LAKE CITY (September 26, 2014)—FamilySearch, the family history arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, today announced that Church members can now receive free personal subscriptions to,, and Access to these services is provided at no cost for Latter-day Saints as part of individual agreements between FamilySearch and these commercial family history websites. These subscriptions provide access to the tools, features, and resources available on each website, and can be used in the comfort of home. To sign up for a free subscription, visit
Used in tandem with the latest FamilySearch tools, these commercial family history websites can open new doors of discovery and enhance members’ ability to identify more ancestors and make more family connections.  
“Free subscriptions to the three major family history websites provide Latter-day Saints about 3.5 times the online content to help them identify their ancestors. This is possible because of the great relationship we have with these companies, their generosity, and a recognition of the investment in time and tithes members of the Church have invested in the shared records,” said Dennis Brimhall, FamilySearch CEO.   
Brimhall emphasized this collaboration benefits everyone. Through technology sharing, patrons of these commercial websites will now have access to FamilySearch content, and the general public will have free access to these websites when they visit one of the 4,800 LDS family history centers worldwide.  
Members of the Church (youth ages 13-17 require parental permission) now have access to more than 17.8 billion records through and these commercial family history websites—a free benefit that would otherwise be a significant investment for members.  
To sign up for a free subscription, visit
I wonder how many of the members know what these programs are or what they do? At the BYU Family History Library the past few weeks, I have been spending a considerable amount of time helping people register for these three programs and then showing them how they work. The registration process does not always result in getting free access to the programs if it is not done completely right. Correcting the problems of registration is simple except for issues with logins and passwords. I would say that almost half of the FamilySearch Church Service missionaries and volunteers working here in the Library had some kind of trouble completing the process.  I will try to address those issues with explanations of the workarounds in future posts. If you have a question, please leave a comment.

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