Would you like to research you family history online?

Would you like to research you family history online?

by Danielle Thompson (July 2020)

ARE you interested in researching your family history online?

If it’s been sometime since you’ve delved into your family history, you might be pleasantly surprised how many historical records are now freely accessible online.

Once the rule for many, the need to search through a microfiche, microfilm, census, parish records or even visit an archive personally is now the exception.

This is because the names from the original historical documents are deciphered from digital images of the records by the FamilySearch’s community of online volunteers, and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The highly searchable “indexes” are then made freely accessible to all though FamilySearch to help make fun or inspiring family discoveries.

Members of the Church, on Preston New Road, set themselves a one-week lockdown challenge to ‘index’ 400 names.

The indexes created by FamilySearch, an international nonprofit charitable organisation, make the information hidden in archive collections more readily accessible onlin for free, and FamilySearch now has over 3billion searchable images and nearly 8 billion searchable names from historical documents, from all over the world, all accessible online.

It typically adds 500 million new images and searchable records every year—over 1 million per day.

Southport resident Mona Gibson, who was one of the volunteers, said: “I became involved with Indexing some years ago when we were asked to help transcribe the 1911 Census by indexing all the information it held.

“This makes it so much easier for those searching for ancestors in order to build up their family history. Inputting names and information alphabetically onto the computer also helps build a safe digital record. It can help with easing the frustration of searching through pages of documents and maybe endless trips to cemeteries or having to rely on older family members who may no longer be able to remember specific details.

“I love Indexing as it’s a way to serve the whole family history community, and I can do it all from the comfort of my own home, on my own computer. We managed to get almost 1,000 names indexed over the week of our challenge.”

Go to FamilySearch.org to learn more about your ancestors or how to become an online volunteer.

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