On February 4, 2014, FamilySearch announced a series of agreements with Ancestry.com, findmypast, and MyHeritage to accelerate the delivery of freely searchable genealogical records to family history researchers.
As a missionary I receive more questions on this issue than practically any other. Dennis Brimhhall recently posted this list of questions and answers regarding the partnerships.
These agreements are in line with the FamilySearch mission
to publish online as many freely available, searchable genealogical
records as possible.
The agreements are best understood in light of the overall pace at
which searchable records are currently being delivered on
FamilySearch.org. Notwithstanding the astounding success of the
FamilySearch indexing program and the tireless dedication of hundreds of
thousands of volunteers, it will still take many generations to index
and publish just the records contained in FamilySearch’s Granite
Mountain Records Vault. This estimate does not account for the more than
35 million new images of records that are digitized each month—and that
rate is increasing.
FamilySearch indexing, is, at best, only a partial solution to the
challenge of making searchable records available in a timely fashion.
Clearly, there is a need for additional, creative approaches to
providing indexed records, which is why it makes sense to partner with
leading commercial genealogy providers such as Ancestry.com,
Archives.com, findmypast, Fold3, and MyHeritage.
FamilySearch and its partners will bring billions of currently
unsearchable and unavailable records to patrons decades before these
records would otherwise become available.
Some people have questions about how this collaboration will all come
about and what it means to volunteers. Below are answers to some of the
most common questions.
Q. Will records indexed by FamilySearch indexing volunteers continue to be freely available to all patrons?
A. Yes. FamilySearch volunteers index and arbitrate
with the understanding that their contribution will be made freely
available to others. These partner agreements will not change this
I have been told by Don Anderson and heard Dennis Brimhall suggest that there could be many more of these in the future.
It is really exciting to see that the big providers in the genealogy community see the value they often preach, that of collaborating. It is truly a good thing.
Continue to the family search blog for the remaining Q & A