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

Friday, February 7, 2014

#RootsTech -- How will the FamilySearch Agreements work for Members?

The main issue being discussed at RootsTech 2014 is the set of agreements between and the other three large online genealogy companies:, and Presently, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have no different status in becoming members or users of the other three large databases, that is, they must pay like anyone else. Of course, is free to everyone. Part of the consideration by all four entities has been the availability of records around the world. The Church began microfilming records back in 1938 and some of those microfilmed records are now irreplaceable. The records in the Church's archives also cover many countries of the world that are not presently represented by online records.

The Church's interest, through FamilySearch, a wholly owned subsidiary, is to make as many records available as possible to the people of the world, regardless of their membership in the Church. Unfortunately, many people, even those involved in genealogy, are not aware of the tremendous number of records available through Another related issue is the fact that most of the existing records already digitized and of those waiting digitization are yet to indexed.

The agreements with the three other large online companies helps to solve some of these problems. The agreement with for instance, provides that will help with monetary support of the ongoing Indexing Program enabling the records to indexed faster. At the same time each of three other companies will receive access to all of the existing records. However, through individual agreements, future records or access to some of the existing records will be limited by the agreements so that each of the entities may have unique access to some records. On the other hand, because the members of the Church have jointly paid for all these records, they will be given free access to each of the three other companies' records through their LDS account.

That's what is going on in a nutshell as far as I understand it today. There is no announced timetable for all this to happen and I expect the programmers are still scrambling to write the programs that will allow all this to happen. There is no need to try and contact any of the companies, especially FamilySearch, because they are not going to know when the agreements are ready to go public until they are ready. So don't call or contact them about these agreements.

No comments:

Post a Comment