FamilySearch to Allow Same-Sex Relationships on Family Trees



Your family might include people who are LGBT. Genealogists will quickly discover that family trees are not set up to accommodate same-sex couples or same-sex parents. FamilySearch has been working on changing their systems in order to include records and data on people in same-sex relationships and also to make it possible to include same-sex parents and couples on FamilySearch family trees.

FamilySearch posted information titled “Recording data on same-sex relationships” on their website. It says:

“The goal of FamilySearch.org is to capture, store, and provide records and an accurate genealogy that represents past, present, and future families of the world. To support this goal, same-sex relationships, including same-sex parents and same-sex couples, will be provided in FamilySearch Family Tree.”

“Several systems that surround Family Tree, such as tree and record searching, must be significantly redesigned to support same-sex relationships before Family Tree can release this capability. We expect to finish this work by 2019. Following this work, the Family Tree application can then allow same-sex information to be recorded. We appreciate your patience and desire to preserve the world’s genealogy in Family Tree.”

The Salt Lake Tribune reported that FamilySearch is not the first genealogy site to allow for recording same-sex relationships. Both FindaGrave.com and Ancestry.com made that move about three years ago.

FamilySearch is a service provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Church does not approve of or accept same-sex marriage or same-sex relationships. So, it might seem surprising that FamilySearch is making changes in order to include same-sex relationships on their Family Search Family Tree.

The Salt Lake Tribune article includes a quote from Irene Caso, a spokeswoman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She said that FamilySearch is “one of the world’s largest collections of genealogical data, drawn from civil, ecclesiastical and other sources to assist researchers.”

She also said the Church makes no judgement “as to the legitimacy or character of the relationships found in these public records…They are simply collections of data to be assessed for their genealogical value by each researcher.”

This change to FamilySearch’s Family Tree (and its related systems) is significant. It will enable genealogists with LGBT relatives and ancestors to include them on their family tree. Future generations of their family will have an accurate family tree to build from.

Related Articles at FamilyTree.com:

* ‘Boston Marriage’

* A Brief History of Marriage Laws in the United States

* FamilySearch Recommends You Sign-In

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