06:00 AM

The price of access


Logging in is on its way

Like any good red-blooded American genealogist, The Legal Genealogist is a big fan of free.

Free records!

Free online services!


And nobody, but nobody, does free better than FamilySearch.

The mega-database research website FamilySearch.org is — in its own words — “a nonprofit family history organization dedicated to connecting families across generations.”1

Boasting “the largest collection of genealogical and historical records in the world,” and noting that it is a “service provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” the website explains:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the primary benefactor for FamilySearch services. Our commitment to helping people connect with their ancestors is rooted in our beliefs—that families are meant to be central to our lives and that family relationships are intended to continue beyond this life.

We hold that all family members—those living, those past, and those future—share an enduring bond that reaches across the generations. To us this means that families are forever, and an important part of acting on this belief is doing family history.

FamilySearch, historically known as the Genealogical Society of Utah, which was founded in 1894, is dedicated to preserving the records of the family of mankind. Our purpose is simple—help people connect with their ancestors through easy access to historical records.

We gladly join and partner with others who share this vision. We pioneered industry standards for gathering, imaging, indexing, and preserving records. Advances in technology and the emergence of our digital world now provide an opportunity for us to share these resources with the world.2

And it does it all — free.

So many of the records I use every day to write this blog — including many Tennessee records that I’ll be using tomorrow in talks to the Middle Tennessee Genealogical Society — come to me, free, from FamilySearch.

And now, it’s asking us to do one little thing to make its job of providing us with this free records access a little easier.

It’s asking us to sign in.