07:49 AM

FamilySearch New Tool Unlocks Data in Digital Record Images

FamilySearch's Explore Historical Images Tool makes finding digital images of your ancestors' records easier than ever.Most likely the family history breakthroughs you need to connect to elusive ancestors hiding somewhere in billions of free, unindexed digital record images at FamilySearch.org, are now a simple search away. Thanks to the release of FamilySearch’s new Explore Historical Images feature, your likelihood of finding records about ancestors has increased dramatically. The new tool helps users easily navigate the growing sea of free digital image collections at FamilySearch to make ancestor discoveries more quickly. 

Searching Digital-Image-Only Collections  

FamilySearch has published billions of images of historical records from archives worldwide and continues to add over 350 million new record images every year—millions per week. About 80 percent of those online genealogical records are not searchable by name—meaning that you might not be able to just type in the names of ancestors to find them. Filling in the missing branches of your family tree requires sleuthing through digital images of the original records online.

John Alexander, records experience manager at FamilySearch, said, “If FamilySearch has a digital-only image of your ancestor’s genealogical records—which it most likely does—now, through a friendly interface, Explore Images will enable you to go to a single source to find it.” 

How Does It Work?

Type in a place-name (city, state, county, or country) for an ancestor event (birth, marriage, date, other), and Explore Historical Images searches FamilySearch’s digital-only collections and returns relevant record collections that meet your criteria.  

Alexander said that a very small percentage of FamilySearch.org users have been taking advantage of the rich content in FamilySearch’s billions of record images. For them, Explore Images is going to be a game changer in making ancestor connections“Previously, you would have to become very familiar with navigating the FamilySearch Catalog online to find what was there. Explore Images simplifies that experience,” said Alexander.

Try FamilySearch Explore Historical Images now. (Requires a free account).


New Tool for Searching Photographed Records (FamilySearch Blog)

UPDATE: FamilySearch Digital Records Access Replacing Microfilm

About FamilySearch

FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org or through over 5,000 family history centers in 129 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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Frank Santoro
This is a great idea, but seems to need some work. For example, with Italian Tribunale records (like Bari or Termini Imerese), the underlying town records don't appear to show up:

1. Searching "Termini Imerese" returns 38 results, each with several thousand records, but nothing more specific than 1820-1910 Civil Registration records. Some of those I am guessing are from the Archivio di Stato di Palermo (1820-1861 records that are restricted viewing or else available on the Antenati site) and others from the Termini Imerese Tribunale records (1862-1910; https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/1947613).

2. Searching "Modugno" returns 56 results with better specifics, but only 1936-1945 records. But the FamilySearch catalog also has the Bari Tribunale records (1866-1929) that cover several comuni, including many years of records for Modugno (https://www.familysearch.org/search/image/index?owc=MFH6-129%3A1015643301%2C1017176701%3Fcc%3D2043445)

Anyway, great first effort, just needs some more "behind the scenes" efforts to better identify locations for so many of your records!