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

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A Closer Look at FamilySearch Community Trees

I recently wrote about the addition of the Community Trees website to the Genealogies section of The Genealogies section of the website is located from a link in the pull-down menu below the "Search" tab at the top of each of the pages of the website. There are four huge collections in the Genealogies section. Each of the four collections has its own idiosyncrasies.

In this post, I am focusing on the Community Trees section. This is the only one of the four sections that has been and continues to be operated as a separate website, quasi-independently of  The complete website has a number of different sections as shown on the startup page above. One unique section contains both the audio recordings and transcripts of oral histories containing records of 5,379, 468 individuals, mainly from the Pacific area islands and Africa. There are presently 13, 968 different sources. Here is a screenshot showing the top 30 places where the oral histories were recorded:

I am not sure that the people living in these areas or who have immigrated from these area are aware of this unique resource. The Oral Histories section the Community Tree website also has an interesting collection of headstone records. The records on Community Trees are exhaustive and complete for the areas covered, but they are also very specific and limited in their coverage. Dismissing the websites because you do not immediately see its scope of its usefulness, is a mistake.

Some of the core collections of the Community Trees involve huge accumulations of sourced members of European royal families. This is a resource many people could well take advantage of, especially considering the number of ancestral lines on the Family Tree purport to include royalty. It might be interesting for those people who have copies of copies of records to see what is and what is not in the sourced records. You may want to take a look at the following collection: Royal and Noble Families of Europe.

It is possible that adding the ability to search this valuable website to may increase interest in the actual website. I suggest that you review the scope of the website before making any searches.


  1. Debbie Latimer headed up this group of researchers in the Medieval Zone in the Family History Library, and later called the Historical Families Reconstitution Zone in the J Smith Memorial bldg. This was an important labor of love for several decades. I remember one young missionary from Africa, a fellow who wasn't literate, meaning he didn't know how to read, wasn't lettered. But they had him listen to oral histories of those from Africa who spoke his language and then he could relate to an English speaking missionary what it said. Pretty interesting. And in the royal families, the Church acquired the best sources, books, histories, pedigrees, available from the governments and descendants of royal families, and those were what were used to re-create the pedigrees of these folks. There were missionaries that stayed for decades with that group to work on this project, it was so interesting. A large Norwegian contingency went way back. It was interesting to watch these folks. Thanks to them. The trouble most of us have is getting back to the accurate lines through the 1700s, 1600s, etc.

    1. Thanks for the history and clarification.