Wednesday, November 14, 2012

FamilySearch By the Numbers

FamilySearch recently released the current size of their collections as of the 1st of November:

Total images published in Historical Records section: ................................................. 698.9 Million
          An image is a graphical representation (photograph) of
          an original, physical document.

Total records published in Historical Records section:................................................... 1.99 Billion
          A record is the information documented (transcribed)
          for a single life event. For example, a birth record, a
          marriage record, a death record.

Total searchable names in Historical Records section: .................................................. 3.07 Billion
          Searchable names are all (transcribed) names
          contained on a record. For example, a single birth
          record contains three names (child, father, mother).

Total collections on FamilySearch Historical Records section: .................................... 1,311 Collections

4 comments:

  1. What good are these records now that Family Search sends you to Ancestry (a fee site) everytime you find a name on Family Search.
    Seems to me everyone is getting shafted.
    In the past you could find data on Family Search but now not so much.

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    Replies
    1. “Seems to me everyone is getting shafted.”

      Let’s see, in the not too distant past on Family Search you could look up names in the IGI which would give you a film number, the Vital Records Index which also had a film number, or the Ancestral File which had no sources at all.

      You could then go to a Family History LIbrary, order and pay for a film, wait several weeks, then go back and view the film. Since rights to the film were retained by the owner of the original record you could not take the microfilm out of the library or make more than a few copies. And the microfilm copiers made pretty bad copies.

      Now, you have online indexes to massive databases of records through Family Search. Many of these indexes link to images of the original documents IF the owner of the documents have given permission. Many governments have. (Ancestry has not.) You can see millions of documents without ordering anything, without leaving your home.

      It is NOT that Family Search “sends” you to Ancestry. It IS that Family Search lets you peek into Ancestry to see what Ancestry owns and get all the extracted information from the record without having an Ancestry subscription. Would you rather that Family Search remove from their indexes all information that Ancestry owns? Is it Family Search’s fault that Ancestry is spending millions of dollars buying up the rights to records? Be grateful that you have any access to Ancestry’s holdings for free.

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  2. This is fantastic! FamilySearch has come a long way in the past 5-10 years. Thanks to all those working to get the images online and for the indexers for making them searchable.

    Julia, it depends on which record collection you are searching. Access to most of the 2 billion records is still free, but FamilySearch does not own the records and they can't always give them out for free online. This video explains it better than me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjLxSac06jw&sns=em. You might want to try visiting a local family history center and seeing if you can access the records you want from there.

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