FamilySearch Celebrates 20 Years Online

FamilySearch announced that it has celebrated 20 years of being online. It was first launched on May 24, 1999. Two decades later, FamilySearch is a leader in the rising tide of popular ancestry-related services online.

FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. It is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years.

Patrons can access FamilySearch services and records free online at or through over 5,000 family history centers in 129 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

When FamilySearch first went online in 1999, it offered free access to hundreds of millions of historical records. At that time, online broadcast news, e-trading, and downloadable music services were the rage. Google, which was an up-and-coming service that was attempting to redefine the role of a search engine, ranked 93rdof top websites.

Millions of new customers access each year, looking for new family connections. The site now boasts more than 7 billion searchable names and over 3 billion searchable images of historical records. It adds more than 300 million new historical records and images yearly from archives worldwide.

Since it launched online, FamilySearch has expanded its free offerings. Patrons have added 1.4 billion ancestor to the site’s robust, collaborative family tree. The tree is integrated with two powerful mobile apps. Users can preserve family photos and create audio files to help tell their family’s stories. The website also features useful help services, like how to make sense of DNA test results. And it is all still free.

If you haven’t visited FamilySearch in a long time, you may want to check in again. Find out what has changed.

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