Wednesday, February 22, 2017
In Support of the FamilySearch Partner Programs
Just recently, I was asked to help a patron in the Brigham Young University Family History Library with some Danish research. Other missionaries had been trying to help the patron for almost two hours without success. One of the very first things I asked the patron was whether or not she had registered and used MyHeritage.com. Not surprisingly, she was not even aware of the program, even though as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints she had a free subscription to the program. I say that this was not surprising because even now when the original partner programs have been available for years, I find only a very few members have taken advantage of the free access.
As I continued to help the patron with her Danish research, using MyHeritage.com we were able to immediately begin to correct the entries she had in the FamilySearch.org Family Tree and then add more new names. The patron was moved to tears by the experience of finding so many new names and leads. Before she left the Library, I made sure she was signed up for MyHeritage.com and had started a family tree. She had Instant Discoveries of more than fifty people added to her family tree and, as I pointed out, many additional Smart Matches that appeared to be relatives living in Denmark. What was remarkable about this experience was that it was not unusual at all, despite the emotional response of the patron, I had suggested using MyHeritage.com for the simple reason that they have a large collection of Danish records that are not so nearly as easily found on the other websites.
I have had the same types of experiences using the other FamilySearch.org Partner Programs. After extensive unsuccessful searching on FamilySearch.org, I frequently find records available on the partner programs. I use Ancestry.com and Findmypast.com regularly in my own research into ancestors in Great Britain. I recently took the MyHeritage.com DNA test and found confirmation for theories about two of my puzzling lines.
As I watch the notices I receive from the Partner Programs, I am overwhelmed at the resources that are being constantly added. I noted recently that MyHeritage.com had passed the 7.2 billion record count. Geneanet.org has over 2.4 million collections of records and at the time of this post had added over 54,000 collections in the last month. Numbers do not tell the story. The whole story is in the tremendous opportunities to discover information about our ancestral families. It is time to start taking advantage of these opportunities while they exist.