FamilySearch, the world’s largest genealogical service, has published its 8 billionth searchable name from its historical records collection.
While this is a notable accomplishment, “it’s the personal family connections that matter most,” says David Rencher, FamilySearch’s chief genealogical officer. “With each new record, there’s the possibility to find a missing link in the family tree. And that is soul-satisfying.”
With the help of online volunteers, emerging technologies and partnerships with other organizations, FamilySearch (a free service provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) adds over 1 million new searchable records to its website every day. The organization is nearly 126 years old, yet 7 billion of these 8 billion names have been added in the past decade alone. These records come from almost every country. FamilySearch’s goal, Rencher says, is to connect families everywhere to as many of their ancestors as possible.
“This milestone is just the tip of the iceberg,” he says. “FamilySearch won’t quit until we’ve accounted for everyone possible from the world’s available records. With over 8 billion searchable names and growing, the odds of growing the branches of your family tree each time you visit keep getting better all the time.”
Those looking to strengthen their genealogical skills and discover more of their roots can, as announced earlier this month, take advantage of the free, online RootsTech Connect 2021 experience. This annual family history conference will go digital next February because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The three-day event will feature classes in many languages and presenters from a variety of locations around the world.
FamilySearch began in 1894 as the Genealogical Society of Utah. It has grown from a parochial organization with 300 books of family records to a global powerhouse in possession of 3.2 billion digital images, 490,000 digital books and an online Family Tree feature with more than a billion user-contributed records.