Protecting Your Genealogy Research

What will happen to your genealogy research once you are gone? Do you have a plan?

There is a simple and affordable way to protect your research and insure it will still be accessible after you are gone. Even better, this resource will help you grow your family tree and it costs you nothing! All you need to do is import your family tree into FamilySearch.org.

The LDS Church has made family history a mission. For more than a century, they have collected, preserved and shared genealogy records and resources worldwide. We can thank the church members who have collected and digitized an amazing archive of records from around the world and made them available to all of us at no cost. Their Family Tree component gives you a view of your family, but that’s only a small part of it. Instead of creating a tree for each user, FamilySearch is building one amazing tree while sharing your part of it with you.

FamilySearch mobile app

This has research advantages for you. You will meet cousins you never knew existed and often they have research to share. There are also elements which make it possible to add photos and memories to help bring your ancestors to life. If you choose to post photos, letters, diaries and other ephemera to an ancestor’s Memories, those memories will be insured a long and fruitful life. Along the way, your research cousins will have added their own memories which add even more to your research too.

But that’s just the beginning. FamilySearch offers free apps for desktop and mobile devices to build your trees. In addition to documenting the information you have about your ancestors, FamilySearch continuously searches their massive archives and posts hints to records that look like they relate to one of your ancestors.

Memories screen in iOS appAlong with that, there’s also an amazing amount of research support. There’s something for everyone – from beginner to experienced family historians. The Help menu on the desktop apps includes the Help Center, Learning Center, Research Wiki and even consultants if you need them.

The research, memories, documents and photos you collect in FamilySearch will always be available to you and your research cousins online while the originals are maintained by experienced archivists and stored in their Granite Mountain Records Vault – “a long-term storage facility designed for preservation”.

Historical Record Collections

This week’s research resource is the Historical Record Collection at FamilySearch. This collection makes it possible for us to focus on a particular type of record at a particular time and place.

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In this example, I’m looking for death records in Chattooga County, Georgia. There are several options and I’ve chosen the Georgia Deaths, 1914-1927 to start. The camera icon to the left of a listing means there are images for this collection. The camera with a box behind it means there are images but they aren’t on FamilySearch. Most of these collections are indexed and can be searched, but those that include “Browse Images” in the records column will require you to move through them on your own.

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When you select an indexed record collection, FamilySearch will display a screen similar to this one where you can search within the collection. It also include a description of the collection at the top of the screen and a source citation at the bottom.

Like the rest of the collections at FamilySearch, the Historic Records Collections is freely-accessible to all users. If you don’t have a user account at FamilySearch, you are missing out on a tremendous worldwide collection of records and a fabulous research support system too.