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

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

FamilySearch Memories publicly available online

This warning message has appeared for sometime on the Memories section of the website. Apparently this general admonition was not enough and a new banner has been added to the Stories section:

Anyone adding content to the Memories portion of the website needs to understand that the word "public" means exactly that. All of these stories, photos and documents are completely discoverable by a Google search. In addition, the website has some rather strict guidelines. There are several very important provisions in the "Submission Agreement." For example, the Agreement states:
By submitting content to this site, you represent and affirm that you have the legal right to do so, and that the submission of such content will not violate any third party’s privacy rights, publicity rights, contract rights, copyrights, or other proprietary rights. By representing and affirming your legal right to submit content, you accept legal responsibility for the use of your Contributed Content by us or by other visitors to the site.
There is further a rather extensive license granted to FamilySearch by the user of the website:
Licenses and Rights Granted to Us 
By submitting content to FamilySearch, you grant FamilySearch an unrestricted, fully paid-up, royalty-free, worldwide, and perpetual license to use any and all information, content, and other materials (collectively, “Contributed Content”) that you submit or otherwise provide to this site (including, without limitation, genealogical content and discussions and content relating to deceased persons) for any and all purposes, in any and all manners, and in any and all forms of media that we, in our sole discretion, deem appropriate for the furtherance of our mission to promote family history and genealogical research. As part of this license, you give us permission to copy, publicly display, transmit, broadcast, and otherwise distribute your Contributed Content throughout the world, by any means we deem appropriate (electronic or otherwise, including the Internet). You also understand and agree that as part of this license, we have the right to create derivative works from your Contributed Content by combining all or a portion of it with that of other contributors or by otherwise modifying your Contributed Content.
This new banner is helpful reminder that uploading content to does entail some rather extensive privacy, copyright and other legal issues.


  1. Am I correct that only memories that are attached to someone are public?? If I upload a memory but do not attach it to someone, it is only visible by me and not public, correct??

    1. No, the Help Center specifically says the following:
      All items in Memories are public.
      If you share the URL for an item in Memories through email or social media, anyone can see it.
      If Google indexes the photo, document, or story from that social media, it may be found by a Google search.
      If only the deceased person is tagged in the photo or document with a living person, it can be found by a search engine.