Friday, May 29, 2009 Passes 8 Billion Records

Scientists and computer users use metric prefixes in which k means a thousand and M means a million. A few isolated groups, such as the energy industry, used the Roman numeral M for one thousand long before the metric system came along. For a million, they use MM, a thousand thousands (although MM actually means two thousand). It’s very confusing.

Especially when both systems are intermixed, as they are in’s May Update.

But I digress… hit a big milestone this month. They surpassed 8 billion records. Notice they didn’t use the sometimes-inflated measure of name counts. Eight billion records is pretty darn impressive. Here’s a break down by category. The M means millions, the B means billions.




Birth, Marriage & Death

38.9 M

1,100 M

Census & Voter Lists

27.7 M

900 M


3.4 M

12 M

Directories & Member Lists

7.6 M

2,100 M

Family Trees

0 M

1,400 M

Immigration & Emigration

31.6 M

180 M


80.6 M

125 M

Newspapers & Periodicals

42.5 M

2,400 M

Pictures, Maps & References

2.1 M

32 M

Stories, Memories & Histories

6.1 M

105 M


240 M

8.3 B


Over the past three years, the number of records in the census & voter list category has grown from under 750 million to over 900 million. points out that they have also been upgrading their census collections. I have to point out that much of that has occurred in cooperation with FamilySearch.

Record growth in census and voter lists

Over the same time frame, has increased their vital record collection by an impressive 350 million records. Neither nor FamilySearch have mentioned any deals on vital records, but I notice quite a few new vital record collections are from FamilySearch. Look for sources mentioning “Intellectual Reserve,” the intellectual property arm of FamilySearch sponsor, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. See, for example, “Norway Births and Christenings, 1600s-1800s”, Marriages, Netherlands Births and Marriages, Denmark Births and Marriages, …

But I digress…

Record growth in vital records

The growth of immigration records from a little over 110 million records to 180 million records has been stretched over all three years.

Record growth in immigration records

While no graph was supplied, Eric Shoup reports that during the same period users have contributed “10MM trees online and 1 billion people.”

Shouldn’t that be 1MMM people?

Regardless, congratulations to!


  1. 8 billion records, and I still have to travel to Europe to do my family history :)

  2. This is impressive! Quick question- I have a patron who wants to look at the 1890, yes, 1890 census for the Kingdom of Hawaii. There are several microfilms available but we don't like paying the $5.25 shipping fee to get the film here. How can we get FamilySearch or Ancestry to digitize the Hawaiian census of 1890 and put it on the internet?

  3. I wanted to know how is able to digitalize so many records so fast while the lds church is so slow and only has around 1/2 billion digitalized so far.