Monday, June 16, 2014

Monday Mailbox: FamilySearch Partnerships and Effect on Family History Centers

The Ancestry Insider's Monday MailboxDear Ancestry Insider,

This week I received notice that LDS FamilySearch users now have the ability to subscribe to at no cost.  This no-cost policy apparently at least two other subscription-based services as well.  What does this mean for the future of the Family History Center? 

And, do you know the motivation behind the change?


Dear Bob,

As far as I know, the agreements with, FindMyPast and MyHeritage don't change the future of Family History Centers, other than the fact that these three websites will be available to the general public at the centers.

FamilySearch and the three companies have announced the reasons for the change. (See “FamilySearch Gives Further Details on Partnerships.”) Basically, the accounts are part of wider scoped agreements for a variety of exchanges and joint projects. FamilySearch is providing record and image collections for the partners to publish on their websites. Partners are providing record and image collections to FamilySearch through subscription access to LDS members and family history centers for public access. FamilySearch might scan microfilms from their vault, photograph new documents in the field, or index new collections. Partners might provide new indexes or images to FamilySearch. 

---The Ancestry Insider


  1. Why don't you comment on the fact that LDS members are getting free subscriptions to Ancestry while non-members are paying almost $200 per year?

  2. I am not that familiar with the workings of LDS, however, I understand that members contribute significant financial resources (often greater than $200, I would guess) to the church, which in turn, provides FamilySearch to all of us for free. Correct me if I am wrong.

    1. We believe the commandment of tithing is to pay one tenth of our income annually. If I make $70,000 a year, I would pay $7,000 a year. Donations are encouraged beyond that to feed the poor, give worldwide humanitarian aid, and provide support to missionaries who can't pay their own way. There are cheaper ways of getting access to One way is to go to Family History Centers for free.

  3. My advice is, if you find a document any place that you save it to your computer. These partnerships have been known to only be an agreement for a specific time period and when the time is up, your link is dead. I have had to go back and find things over again, there or somewhere else, when that has happened. Sometimes I can't find it. I document everything I can but traveling is not in my budget. Just save the document when you find it and there'll be no worries about laying your eyes on it again.

    And I have read that LDS members are required to give a percentage of their income; the exact number escapes me. I suppose it's a fair trade for them to be able to access in exchange for the transcriptions LDS provides. There are too many partnerships. It will soon be one web site with all the information and you can bet your bottom dollar it won't be free.

  4. Will Find My Past make PERSI available on their website for LDS members. I was interested in PERSI but could not find it on their website when I signed up.


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