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The Genealogue

FamilySearch Blog

Discover your personal and family heritage

History of Ireland and Your Heritage

2021. március 6., szombat 0:00:00

Did you know there are no wild snakes in Ireland? If there weren’t already a hundred and one things to already love about the Emerald Isle, this might be the best! With low central plains and coastal mountains, Ireland is a most beautiful backdrop to a rich heritage of myth, legends, and tradition.

Irish Heritage Today

Though Ireland only has a population of about 4.9 million, Irish heritage is widespread in the world. It is estimated that nearly 32 million U.S. residents claimed Irish ancestry in 2018; in Britain, it is estimated nearly 6 million residents can claim an Irish heritage two generations back.

Are you and your family part of this ancient and amazing culture? You can explore your Irish heritage and history in the articles below. When you are ready to start your family history research in Ireland, be sure to use the many record collections available at

The Irish Diaspora

Diaspora is a Greek word meaning “to scatter.” Through all generations of time, many cultures of the world have been scattered to other places. The Irish are no exception.

The term “Irish Diaspora” was first noted in the 1954 book titled The Vanishing Irish. Additionally, in a 1995 address by Ireland’s then-president Mary Robinson, it was declared that there were 70 million people worldwide who could claim Irish descent. She further stated, “The men and women of our diaspora represent not simply a series of departures and losses. They remain, even while absent, a precious reflection of our own growth and change, a precious reminder of the many strands of identity which compose our story.”

a young girl celebrates st patrick's day, an irish heritage celebration

Irish-American Heritage Month and St. Patrick’s Day

Today many counties, including the U.S., Britain, Argentina, Canada, Australia, and others have Irish celebrations. March 17 has long been celebrated as St. Patrick’s Day because that is the date St. Patrick was said to have died in 461 AD.

St. Patrick is famed for having brought Christianity to Ireland in the 5th century. Originally a religious holiday, St. Patrick’s Day has morphed into a celebration of all things Irish. There are parades, leprechauns, shamrocks, and the wearing of green, just to name a few.

Irish Genealogy

Finding Irish roots has been difficult for many researchers. War, destruction, and loss of records are just a few of the hinderances that require family historians to think outside the box. In the last several years, Ireland counties have made an effort to share what genealogically valuable records they have with the world. Read the articles below to learn more about how to find your Irish ancestors.

Irish Culture and Legends

Celtic bards, or professional storytellers, passed down and recorded the history of Ireland and her people. From banshees to fairies, Irish stories embody the peoples’ love of their island and a tradition influenced by mythical creatures and superstition. Did you know that the Leprechaun originally wore a red suit? To learn more about the Irish stories of the past, read these fun articles below.

Visiting Ireland Today

If you dream of visiting the beautiful land of Ireland, you are not alone. Some 11 million tourists visited Ireland in 2019. In fact, tourism is one of the biggest contributors to the Republic of Ireland’s economy.

Visitors will enjoy the beautiful scenery, traditional music, over 30,000 castles, ancient mounds, and more! Read these articles below to learn more about planning your dream trip to Ireland.

Whether at home or abroad, learning about your Irish Heritage can bring you closer to your ancestors. Dive into the FamilySearch Family Tree to find information about your Irish ancestors today!

RootsTech 2021 Keynote Speakers

2021. március 4., csütörtök 8:00:00

Watch or listen to the incredible keynote speakers for the record-breaking RootsTech Connect conference. RootsTech is one of the largest genealogy conferences in the world, and RootsTech Connect made it even bigger. Best of all, it’s absolutely free!

RootsTech Connect may be over, but it’s still possible to watch all of the keynotes and classes. Hop on, sign in, and watch or re-watch your favorites!

Meet the RootsTech Connect Keynote Speakers

Nick Vujicic

Nick Vujicic

Nick was born in 1982 with neither arms nor legs. Throughout his childhood, he dealt with many challenges as he questioned why he was different from others. As he grew up, he learned to deal with his disability and rise above his challenges to complete a university degree. By the age of 19, Nick started to fulfill his dream of encouraging other people in their struggles.

Read more about Nick Vujicic.

Lorena Ochoa

lorena ochoa golfing

Lorena was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco. She was the best golf player in the world for 157 consecutive weeks.

In 2010, Lorena paused her professional career as a golf player to focus on her foundation, which centers on the education of low-income children. Currently, it supports 360 students, the design of golf courses, and altruistic activities.

Read more about Lorena Ochoa.

Francesco Lotoro

Francesco Lotoro

Francesco Lotoro is a pianist, composer, and conductor in addition to being a piano professor at the Umberto Giordano Music Conservatory in Foggia, Italy. For the past 30 years, he has been involved in collecting musical works created by musicians in concentration camps during the Holocaust. So far, he has recovered over 8,000 of these musical scores.

Read more about Francesco Lotoro.

Sharon Leslie Morgan

Sharon Leslie Morgan

Sharon Leslie Morgan is a writer and genealogist. She is also the founder of Our Black Ancestry (OBA), an online community that provides resources for African American genealogical research. OBA accomplishes its objectives by helping to preserve historical materials and properties, as well as by promoting the healing of wounds left by slavery.

Read more about Sharon Leslie Morgan.

Sunetra Sarker

Sunetra Sarker, a rootstech keynote speaker

Sunetra Sarker is an English actress and director. She was first seen on television as a teenager playing Nisha Batra in the soap opera Brookside. Her career has led to many memorable roles and membership in the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA). You may have seen her in No Angels, Informer, and Safe House, and playing Dr. Zoe Hanna in Casualty.

Read more about Sunetra Sarker.

Erick Avari

Erick Avari, rootstech keynote speaker

You’ve probably seen Erick Avari before, even if you don’t know it. A respected character actor, he has played dozens of roles in productions ranging from Shakespeare to science fiction. He’s been in movies (Planet of the Apes, Independence Day), on television (The Mentalist, NCIS) and on stage (King Lear, The King and I). His versatile, 30-year career includes not only acting, but writing, directing, and producing. 

Read more about Erick Avari.

Diego Lugano

diego lugano, a world-famous soccer player

Diego Alfredo Lugano Morena was born in 1980 in Canelones, Uruguay. In 1999, Diego joined the Club Nacional de Football in Montevideo, a top Uruguayan Football team. As a central defender for teams both at home and abroad, Diego achieved international fame. Between 2003 and 2014, he played in nearly 100 matches and two World Cups for the Uruguay national team.

Read more about Diego Lugano.


the group members of bless4

bless4 is a pop group formed by four Kawamitsu siblings—Akashi, Kanasa, Akino, and Aiki. The four siblings have become prominent pop stars in Japan and around the world and have performed in tours, concerts, and conventions. Their music has been heard in movies and TV shows, and each of the siblings has unique talents to bring to the table.

Read more about bless4.

Astrid Tuminez

Astrid Tuminez, featured speaker at RootsTech Connect

Tuminez has had a fascinating life, with many stories to tell that will captivate audiences this year. The role that education played in Tuminez’s life is an important reminder of the power of knowledge. Her journey from the slums of the Philippines to achieving literacy and education is both inspirational and powerful.

Read more about Astrid Tuminez.

Nick Barratt

nick barratt

Have you ever watched BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are? If so, buckle up for some fun this year because Nick Barratt, the TV show’s genealogical consultant, will be the RootsTech Connect emcee! Nick is a historian. He has been one since he was young. Pursuing his early interest in history has led him to several notable achievements.

Read more about Nick Barratt.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo

Ladysmith Black Mambazo performing on stage.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo is a male acapella group that performs in the musical traditions of their South African homelands. The choir is well-known for performing in Zulu styles, highlighting their roots through their rhythms and harmonies. The vocal group has been performing now for over 60 years, with their early years dating back to the 1960s.

Read More about Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

Bruna Benites

Bruna Benites, a soccer player.

Bruna Benites is an international soccer sensation from Brazil and team captain of the 2012 Brazil women’s team. Bruna Benites’s resume as a professional soccer player is packed with achievements, including two Olympic appearances and multiple league and international championships, including the Conmebol Copa America Feminina—one of South America’s most prestigious competitions.

Read more about Bruna Benites.


Tita as a young soccer player

Tita is known as one of Brazil’s best soccer players in its history. He was only 18 when he entered the professional league Flamengo, which was Brazil’s most popular team at the time. Tita is well-known for playing the forward position. At the young age of 20, Tita was named Brazil’s Soccer Selection while playing for Brazil’s national team. Tita continued playing, and he participated in the 1990 World Cup, where his team made it to round 16.

Read more about Tita.

Will Hopoate

will hopoate, renowned rugby player

William Hopoate was born in 1992 in New South Wales, Australia, and is of Tongan descent. Hopoate is also known as “Viliami” in Tongan, but he often goes by the nickname of “Hoppa.” Hopoate began playing for the National Rugby League (NRL) when he was 18 years old. He started his professional career playing for the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles.

Read more about Will Hopoate.

Monthly Record Update for February 2021

2021. március 2., kedd 23:00:00

FamilySearch expanded its free online archives in February of 2021 with almost 34 million new indexed family history records from all over the world. New historical records were added from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Denmark, the Dominican Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, El Salvador, England, Finland, France, French Polynesia, Germany, Guatemala, Liberia, Mexico, Micronesia, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Samoa, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Uruguay, Venezuela, Zambia, and the United States, which includes  Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Find your ancestors using these free archives online, including birth, marriage, death, and church records. Millions of new genealogy records are added each month to make your search easier.

Don’t see what you’re looking for? Check back next month and, in the meantime, search existing records on FamilySearch.

CountryCollection Indexed Records Comment
ArgentinaArgentina, Entre Ríos, Civil Registration, 1860-1965         301,691Expanded collection
ArgentinaArgentina, Misiones, Catholic Church Records, 1874-1975             5,778Expanded collection
ArgentinaArgentina, Salta, Civil Registration, 1880-2000           13,335Expanded collection
ArgentinaArgentina, San Juan, Catholic Church Records, 1655-1975             8,106Expanded collection
BoliviaBolivia Catholic Church Records, 1566-1996         178,435Expanded collection
BrazilBrazil, Minas Gerais, Civil Registration, 1879-1949           19,109Expanded collection
BrazilBrazil, Paraná, Civil Registration, 1852-1996           22,364Expanded collection
BrazilBrazil, Santa Catarina, Civil Registration, 1850-1999             5,878Expanded collection
CanadaBritish Columbia Naturalization Records, 1859-1926             4,372Expanded collection
CanadaNova Scotia Church Records, 1720-2001           42,931Expanded collection
ChileChile, Catholic Church Records, 1710-1928           42,672Expanded collection
CroatiaCroatia, Delnice Deanery Catholic Church Books, 1571-1926             7,030Expanded collection
DenmarkDenmark, Århus Municipal Census, 1918           16,478Expanded collection
Dominican RepublicDominican Republic Miscellaneous Records, 1921-1980           21,958Expanded collection
Dominican RepublicDominican Republic, Catholic Church Records, 1590-1955           95,927Expanded collection
DR CongoDemocratic Republic of the Congo, Census, 1984           87,064Expanded collection
EcuadorEcuador, Catholic Church Records, 1565-2011           31,738Expanded collection
El SalvadorEl Salvador Catholic Church Records, 1655-1977           65,937Expanded collection
EnglandEngland, Essex Non-Conformist Church Records, 1613-1971             5,059Expanded collection
EnglandEngland, Gloucestershire Non-Conformist Church Records, 1642-1996           42,234Expanded collection
EnglandEngland, Herefordshire Bishop’s Transcripts, 1583-1898           34,983Expanded collection
EnglandEngland, Middlesex Parish Registers, 1539-1988           40,457Expanded collection
EnglandEngland, Northumberland Non-Conformist Church Records, 1613-1920           23,699Expanded collection
FinlandFinland, Tax Lists, 1809-1915           25,236Expanded collection
FranceFrance, Haute-Garonne, Toulouse, Civil Registration, 1792-1893           15,322Expanded collection
FranceFrance, Rhône, Military Registration Cards, 1865-1932           14,142Expanded collection
FranceFrance, Saône-et-Loire, Parish and Civil Registration, 1530-1892             1,608Expanded collection
French PolynesiaFrench Polynesia, Civil Registration, 1780-1999                 488Expanded collection
GermanyGermany, Prussia, East Prussia, Catholic and Lutheran Church Records, 1551-1992         948,837Expanded collection
GermanyGermany, Prussia, Saxony, Census Lists, 1770-1934           57,754Expanded collection
GermanyGermany, Prussia, West Prussia, Catholic and Lutheran Church Records, 1537-1981     2,277,077Expanded collection
GermanyGermany, Prussia, Westphalia, Minden, Miscellaneous Collections from the Municipal Archives, 1574-1912           10,993Expanded collection
GermanyGermany, Saxony-Anhalt, Diocese of Magdeburg, Catholic Church Records, 1608-1945         257,051Expanded collection
GuatemalaGuatemala, Catholic Church Records, 1581-1977         370,545Expanded collection
GuatemalaGuatemala, Chimaltenango, Civil Registration, 1877-1994           38,661Expanded collection
LiberiaLiberia Census, 2008         696,700Expanded collection
MexicoMexico, Colima, Catholic Church Records, 1707-1969         185,460Expanded collection
MexicoMexico, Guanajuato, Catholic Church Records, 1519-1984     6,141,947Expanded collection
MexicoMexico, Guerrero, Catholic Church Records, 1576-1979     1,562,953Expanded collection
MexicoMexico, Querétaro, Catholic Church Records, 1590-1970     1,244,366Expanded collection
MexicoMexico, Sinaloa, Civil Registration, 1861-1929           64,580Expanded collection
MicronesiaMicronesia, Civil Registration, 1883-1983                   95Expanded collection
New ZealandNew Zealand, Electoral Rolls, 1865-1957     3,591,169New collection
NicaraguaNicaragua, Catholic Church Records, 1740-1960             1,140Expanded collection
NicaraguaNicaragua, Cemetery Records, 1922-2007         185,282New collection
NorwayNorway Census, 1870         267,848New collection
NorwayNorway, Oslo Census, 1901             7,933Expanded collection
NorwayNorway, Probate Index Cards, 1640-1903             7,039Expanded collection
Papua New GuineaPapua New Guinea, Birth Records, 1888-2004                   14Expanded collection
ParaguayParaguay, Catholic Church Records, 1754-2015             1,612Expanded collection
ParaguayParaguay, Military Records, 1870-1965           16,854Expanded collection
PeruPeru, Catholic Church Records, 1603-1992           26,128Expanded collection
PeruPeru, Diocese of Huaraz, Catholic Church Records, 1641-2016           60,149Expanded collection
PeruPeru, Piura, Civil Registration, 1874-1996         109,284Expanded collection
PeruPeru, Prelature of Yauyos-Cañete-Huarochirí, Catholic Church Records, 1665-2018           61,268Expanded collection
PhilippinesPhilippines, Biliran, Diocese of Naval Parish Registers, 1818-1978             3,219Expanded collection
Puerto RicoPuerto Rico, Catholic Church Records, 1645-1969           16,908Expanded collection
Puerto RicoPuerto Rico, Civil Registration, 1805-2001                 232Expanded collection
SamoaSamoa, Vital Records, 1846-1996           17,955Expanded collection
SlovakiaSlovakia Church and Synagogue Books, 1592-1935             1,781Expanded collection
SloveniaSlovenia, Ljubljana, Funeral Accounts, 1937-1970             1,959Expanded collection
South AfricaSouth Africa, Church of the Province of South Africa, Parish Registers, 1801-2004                 100Expanded collection
South AfricaSouth Africa, Civil Death Registration, 1955-1966         244,720Expanded collection
South AfricaSouth Africa, Dutch Reformed Church Registers (Cape Town Archives), 1660-1970           48,802Expanded collection
South AfricaSouth Africa, KwaZulu Natal, Vital Records, 1868-1976             5,709Expanded collection
SpainSpain, Province of La Coruña, Municipal Records, 1648-1941           14,368Expanded collection
Sri LankaSri Lanka, Colombo District, Dutch Reformed Church Records, 1677-1990             3,198Expanded collection
SwedenSweden, Örebro Church Records, 1613-1918; index 1635-1860           10,369Expanded collection
SwitzerlandSwitzerland, Fribourg, Census, 1850             8,550Expanded collection
SwitzerlandSwitzerland, Fribourg, Census, 1880           37,328Expanded collection
United KingdomEngland, Hertfordshire, Marriage Bonds, 1682-1837                 272Expanded collection
United KingdomEngland, Hertfordshire, Marriage Bonds, 1682-1837                 172New collection
United KingdomEngland, Lancashire, Marriage Bonds and Allegations, 1746-1799                   96Expanded collection
United KingdomEngland, Lincolnshire, Marriage Bonds and Allegations, 1574-1885           17,224Expanded collection
United KingdomGreat Britain, War Office Registers, 1772-1935             3,582Expanded collection
United StatesAlabama Voter Registration and Poll Tax Cards, 1834-1981           39,390Expanded collection
United StatesArizona, Cochise County, Voting Records, 1882-1932             1,824Expanded collection
United StatesCalifornia, County Birth and Death Records, 1800-1994                   80Expanded collection
United StatesCalifornia, Los Angeles, Angelus-Rosedale Cemetery/Crematory Records, 1884-2002             5,568Expanded collection
United StatesCalifornia, San Francisco Chinese passenger lists, 1882-1947         147,465Expanded collection
United StatesColorado, Military Discharge Records, ca.1919-1972             1,735New collection
United StatesGeorgia Probate Records, 1742-1990                 633Expanded collection
United StatesGeorgia, Military Discharge Records, ca.1890 – ca.1966           33,261Expanded collection
United StatesGeorgia, Tax Digests, 1787-1900         738,674Expanded collection
United StatesIllinois, Chicago, Voter Registers, 1888-1892                 112Expanded collection
United StatesIllinois, Cook County, Birth Certificates, 1871-1949           46,218Expanded collection
United StatesIllinois, Military Discharge Records, ca.1862 – ca.1965           17,008New collection
United StatesIndiana Marriages, 1811-2007           60,081Expanded collection
United StatesIowa, Military Discharge Records, ca.1862 – ca.1976           33,021New collection
United StatesMaine, County Naturalization Records, 1800-1990           35,852Expanded collection
United StatesMaryland, Allegany County, Tax and Voter Records, 1798-1948                 502Expanded collection
United StatesMassachusetts Marriages, 1695-1910, 1921-1924             5,815Expanded collection
United StatesMassachusetts, Births, 1636-1924         119,873Expanded collection
United StatesMassachusetts, Boston Tax Records, 1822-1918         231,579Expanded collection
United StatesMississippi, County Marriages, 1858-1979             2,911Expanded collection
United StatesMontana, County Voting Records, 1884-1992           31,343Expanded collection
United StatesNew Jersey, County Naturalization Records, 1749-1986           31,737Expanded collection
United StatesNew Jersey, Death Index, 1901-1903; 1916-1929             2,266Expanded collection
United StatesNorth Carolina, Voter Registers and Certificates of Registration, 1868-1964             2,415Expanded collection
United StatesOhio, County Marriages, 1789-2016           12,752Expanded collection
United StatesPennsylvania Cemetery Records, ca. 1700-ca. 1950                 403Expanded collection
United StatesPennsylvania Delayed Birth Records, 1941-1976                   76Expanded collection
United StatesSouth Carolina, Charleston County, Charleston Poorhouse and Correctional House Records, 1803-1916                   22Expanded collection
United StatesSouth Carolina, Charleston District, Bill of sales of Negro slaves, 1774-1872                   17Expanded collection
United StatesSouth Carolina, County Voter Registration Records, 1882-1895                   43Expanded collection
United StatesSouth Dakota, County Naturalization Records, 1865-1972           69,530Expanded collection
United StatesTexas, Grimes County, Marriage Records, 1951-1966             5,347Expanded collection
United StatesTexas, Indexes and Manifests of Arrivals at the Port of Del Rio, 1906-1953         284,613Expanded collection
United StatesTexas, Various Counties, Military Discharge Records, 1916-1990             5,843Expanded collection
United StatesUnited States City and Business Directories, ca. 1749 – ca. 1990     8,988,386Expanded collection
United StatesUnited States, New York Land Records, 1630-1975     2,049,857Expanded collection
United StatesUtah, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Church Census Records, 1914-1960             2,151Expanded collection
United StatesVirginia, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Death Records, 1853-1912                   39Expanded collection
United StatesVirginia, County Marriage Records, 1771-1943         264,188Expanded collection
United StatesVirginia, Various Counties, Marriage Bonds, 1706-1901                   13Expanded collection
United StatesWashington, County Birth Registers, 1873-1965             1,232Expanded collection
United StatesWashington, County Divorce Records, 1852-1950           51,062Expanded collection
United StatesWashington, Seattle, Passenger Lists, 1890-1957         129,677Expanded collection
United StatesWest Virginia Voter Registers, 1866-1890             1,358Expanded collection
United StatesWisconsin, County Naturalization Records, 1807-1992           18,015Expanded collection
UruguayUruguay Civil Registration, 1879-1930             1,273Expanded collection
UruguayUruguay, Catholic Church Records, 1726-2000           84,575Expanded collection
UruguayUruguay, Civil Registration Index Card, 1900-1937           13,409Expanded collection
VenezuelaVenezuela Civil Registration, 1873-2003           16,204Expanded collection
VenezuelaVenezuela, Catholic Church Records, 1577-1995         366,512Expanded collection
ZambiaZambia, Archdiocese of Lusaka, Church Records, 1950-2015                 459Expanded collection

FamilySearch Launches New Page for Family History Beginners

2021. március 2., kedd 21:14:10

Have you ever wanted to do family history but didn’t know where to start? FamilySearch recently launched a beginner-friendly page to help!

The new Getting Started page provides a variety of simple family history activities and FamilySearch resources that both beginners and genealogy veterans can appreciate. These pages also show how family history is any activity that connects us to our family stories.

Whether you want to learn what FamilySearch knows already knows about your family, how to preserve family memories, or how to build your family tree or search records, the Getting Started page makes it easy to begin exploring your family story.

getting started screenshot

You can also find the Getting Started page by going to the FamilySearch homepage, clicking the question mark icon in the top right corner of the page, and selecting Getting Started in the drop-down menu.

How to Use the Getting Started Page

The initial landing page shows cards that highlight ways you can start doing family history. Each card links to a how-to page that includes brief, beginner-friendly information about the activity and one or two tasks to help you get started.

For example, one of the getting started activities is “Save Family Memories.” To learn more about this activity, click the Save Family Memories card on the main Getting Started page. A page will open about preserving family memories. There, you can scroll down to view two easy step-by-step ways to begin uploading and saving memories.

Yes, it’s that easy!

So, what are you waiting for? Start exploring the unique ways you can learn more about your family story on the Getting Started page!

2020 FamilySearch Year in Review

2021. február 26., péntek 22:00:00

The year 2020 was, in a word, unforgettable. It was an unprecedented year that truly showed the flexibility and adaptability of the human race. People found new hobbies, new ways to connect, and new ways to be close despite a physical distance. Did you ever think you’d be living through such historic events?

Despite the craziness that was 2020, FamilySearch made several notable achievements—many of which further our goal to help people all over the world experience the joy and inspiration that come from making new family connections and discoveries. Check them out below!

two men on a bench

Updates to the FamilySearch Family Tree

The FamilySearch Family Tree is a collaborative project that anyone with a FamilySearch account can contribute to. We’re constantly blown away by the work all of you put into it—but in 2020, you really went above and beyond.

Almost 100 million relatives were added to the family tree during the 2020 calendar year. That’s double the number added in 2019, and over three times the number of relatives added in 2019. What a staggering metric! In total, there are now 1.3 billion people in the world’s largest free, collaborative family tree.

In addition, FamilySearch users added 300 million sources to their relative’s profiles using their own family records and FamilySearch record hints. If you’re not sure how to add sources, take time to learn; adding sources to a relative’s profile strengthens the genealogical soundness of each profile on the tree.

Tree Tweaks and New Features

FamilySearch also made changes in its tree data that will make it easier for search engines like Google to index the tree’s content. This adjustment, in turn, will make it even easier to discover the FamilySearch Family Tree online.

Newly added features give users the ability to “follow” people in the tree and in Memories. It’s now also possible to make memories private, bookmark an album, create searchable tags in Memories, and create slideshows about an ancestor. The popular Family Tree fan chart view is now available on the Family Tree mobile app as well!

an old record

Even More Searchable Records

One of the hallmarks of the FamilySearch experience is our expansive, ever-growing record collection. The FamilySearch Explore Historical Images feature was released in 2020, giving easier access to over 4.3 billion record images. An additional 1 billion names were indexed, or made searchable, making it easier than ever to find your ancestors in FamilySearch’s collections.

Among these records, significant collections were added from NorwayBrazilFranceGermanyFijiAmerican Samoa, Puerto Rico, and more. A new Mayflower collection was also added to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the landing of the Mayflower.

FamilySearch’s Digital Library was updated as well; now, almost 500,000 historical books are available to read and search. The Genealogies feature was also expanded and improved.

A mother and daughter play at the park

New FamilySearch Discovery Experiences

Some of the most fun experiences FamilySearch has to offer are its discovery experiences—short activities that allow you to view your family history in new and unique ways. In 2020, FamilySearch expanded its website experiences to 30 languages. Now, even more people around the world can enjoy them.

These discovery activities include the All about Me activity, which now provides a more customized experience for those who have ancestors from American Samoa, Fiji, Norway, and Puerto Rico. Do you have ancestry from those parts of the world? These rich new experiences can help you learn more about your ancestors—and yourself!

But that’s not all. New discovery activities were added, including the interactive Where Am I From? experience, which allows you to check out events in your ancestors’ lives on a global map.

RootsTech in 2020

It was a historic year for RootsTech; the conference celebrated its 10th anniversary! The 2020 conference hosted 16,000 in-person attendees and over 75,000 livestream viewers. It was a delightful event, with spectacular keynotes and an ever-popular Family Discovery Day that attracted 25,000 attendees all on its own.

RootsTech didn’t slow down in 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic created a unique opportunity to make RootsTech entirely virtual and entirely free. RootsTech Connect 2021 took place on 25–27 February, and it is shaping up to be the biggest RootsTech yet. 1 million from over 200 countries attended RootsTech Connect, and content will be viewable on-demand all year long!

With all the achievements in 2020, we can’t wait to see what 2021 brings. Be sure to be a part of it! Sign up for a free FamilySearch account, and start making your own family discoveries.

Don’t Miss the Virtual FamilySearch Mission Booth at RootsTech!

2021. február 25., csütörtök 18:25:58

RootsTech 2021 is here! Along with all the wonderful talks and workshops you can attend virtually, this year’s RootsTech will also have virtual booths, including the popular FamilySearch missionary booth.

At the traditional in-person missionary booth, you would be met with a friendly face and information about family history and FamilySearch missionary opportunities. This year won’t be too different—at the virtual booth, you’ll still be able to ask questions and view information about serving and volunteering with the Family History Department.

virtual familysearch missionary booth

This year’s missionary booth will include the following:

  • Exciting information about missionary and volunteer opportunities with the Family History Department.
  • The ability to talk to a live person about family history missions and volunteer opportunities.
  • Downloadable pamphlets and videos about specific opportunities.
  • A contact form you can submit if you would like more information.

You can also learn more about family history-focused mission and volunteer opportunities by visiting the following FamilySearch pages:

Getting the Most Out of RootsTech Connect 2021

2021. február 23., kedd 23:34:10

RootsTech has always been the place to connect and network with others who share your same passion about all things family history and genealogy. Although you may not be able to physically stand in the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, RootsTech Connect 2021 is no different. The need, ability, and desire to connect with others is still present. This year that connection process will involve using new technology tools, new ways of thinking, and a little courage.

Check out the new RootsTech Connect Site; you’re sure to find something you’ll like!

Learn How to Use the New RootsTech Site

Instead of standing in line waiting for a hoped-for seat in a large conference hall, just snuggle up with your best browsing device, comfortable clothing, and your favorite snacks. With over 2,000 class sessions and videos, nearly 100 exhibitors, and a half-million participants (some of whom will be your relatives), a 3-day conference may seem a little overwhelming. Lucky for you, there is no need to consume this vast library of content in just 3 days; it will all be available on-demand for you to add to your personal playlist and watch at your convenience throughout the year.

There are 4 main parts to the RootsTech Connect website, each of them with exciting and useful features. Follow along as we show you how to get the most out of the new experience, what features are only available during the 3-day RootsTech Connect event, and a few other tips and hacks.

The four sections of the rootstech website.


The RootsTech Connect experience is rooted in connection; connection with attendees, speakers, exhibitors, and your world-wide cousins. At the bottom right corner of the RootsTech website is a Connect chat box. Here you can connect with other attendees, join session chat rooms, create custom chat rooms, message presenters, and connect with your relatives.

If you have any questions during the 3-day conference, you can click the Ask Us Anything blue button at the top of the chat box and in the menu at the top of the page, and one of hundreds of volunteers will help you. This feature will not continue after the conference concludes, so be sure to copy any chat conversation you’d like to reference later.

Ask Us Anything on the RootsTech Connect Website

The “Relatives at RootsTech” experience has become the favorite RootsTech experience of many conference attendees. It uses the FamilySearch Global Tree to show you which of the other RootsTech attendees you are related to and how.

Like the chat feature, this element is directly connected to the live conference event. Sign in with your FamilySearch username and password, and the software will link you to your cousins wherever in the world they are participating. Add your relative as a “friend,” and send them a message.

All messages sent between you and your relatives are stored in the messaging feature of FamilySearch and will be available to you long after the conference ends. Don’t miss out on making these vital connections while the feature is live during the conference!

The Expo Hall

Nearly 100 exhibitors are awaiting your visit to their virtual booth in the RootsTech Connect Expo Hall. Just like the in-person event in years past, you will be able to explore new product demonstrations, enjoy exclusive conference discounts, and chat with exhibitors to receive personalized help.

Many exhibitors will have content scheduled at various times over the 3-day event. Make sure to visit the expo hall early so you don’t miss out on any conference-only content. While the personalized features will end at the conference conclusion, most exhibitors have provided content that will remain on the RootsTech website for use and reference during the year.

The Main Stage

The heart of RootsTech plays out on the main stage. As the kickoff conference video communicates, “We Are All Connected.” The inspiring stories from celebrity keynote presenters will touch your heart as they share their journey with you. Make sure to have a box of tissues nearby, because you are sure to need them! Keynote sessions begin at 11 p.m. EST on 24 February 2021 with Nick Vujicic—mid day in the Pacific—and will follow the sun around the world for 24 hours a day for 3 days in 11 languages.

RootsTech keynotes shown from their locations around the world

Other main stage features you’ll want to check out are the discovery segments covering music, food, travel, traditions, and culture from all over the world. Be sure you don’t miss the RootsTech song contest where you can check out the beautiful arrangements from all of the amazing finalists and vote for your favorite. You might be interested to know that members of the band One Republic were guest judges of the final selections.

Also be sure to take a selfie or family picture and add it to the collective photo mosaic. The mosaic and song contest are conference-only features you’ll want to do this week, so don’t put it off!

RootsTech Connect Sessions

A premier library of video-on-demand, localized content available in multiple languages is the meat of the RootsTech experience. With over 1,200 classes available and another 1,000 discovery videos, it is not humanly possible for you to consume this content over the course of 3 days. But don’t worry; this vast library is available for your use for the rest of this year!

With so much content, you may not know where to start. No worries! You can use the Search feature to look for specific topics, or you can use the Guide Me feature that aggregates sessions into various topics, such as: Getting Started, Discovery, Archivist, or For Latter-day Saints. Additionally, you can search by:

  • Language
  • Geographic Region
  • Speaker
  • Finding Living Family
  • Ancestors
  • DNA
  • Researching Places and Records
  • Memories—Stories, Photos, and Video
  • Traditions and Heritage
  • Websites, Tech Tools, and Apps
  • Entertainment and Events

“My Playlist” Gives You a Customized Experience

Make sure you log in with your FamilySearch account so you can use the powerful My Playlist feature. As you browse through the sessions and read the summaries, click on the + to add the videos you are interested in to your personalized playlist. You will have until the next RootsTech event to enjoy your selections at your own pace. However, if you want to watch everything that is available, you will need to plan on viewing 6 sessions a day for 365 days!

My Playlist on the RootsTech Website
Explore Sessions on the RootsTech Website.

And if you think that is all, make sure you take a look at what is hidden on the menu of the RootsTech website. Here you will find links to a speakers directory, FAQs, the RootsTech store, sessions from previous RootsTech conferences (as if you need more content to consume), and the link to the innovator’s portal.

Check out the innovator’s portal for the latest innovations in family history technology. Jump in and test drive new tools, watch demos, and explore. You can even create a customized song from your family’s names.

At RootsTech there is something available for everyone. Come join RootsTech Connect 2021, and feel inspired and connected in new ways. We invite you to join in the journey of creating and sharing your own family discovery experiences.

Irish Genealogy: Finding Birth, Marriage, and Death Records

2021. február 20., szombat 0:00:00

When you are exploring the lives of your Irish ancestors, a top priority is finding records of their births, marriages, and deaths, also called BMDs or vital records. These kinds of records help you confirm your relatives’ identities, where and when they lived, and the identities of their nearest kin.

The most important source of your Irish ancestors’ BMDs for the past 150 years or more are civil registrations. Fortunately, civil registration information for millions of people is available online—much of it for free. Here’s where to look for Irish civil registration records and what you’re likely to find. 

Irish Civil Registration: BMDs since 1864

Ireland has kept civil registration records of all births, marriages, and deaths since 1864. (Some marriages were recorded prior to that.) Regional registration districts logged information about these vital events in surrounding villages. When the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland became separate nations in 1922, they began maintaining separate civil registrations too.

Begin your search for civil registration records with FamilySearch’s free collection, Ireland Civil Registration Indexes, 1845–1958, which has more than 23 million entries. Then access original records through government websites. The Republic of Ireland’s database offers free images of many civil registrations; you can order copies of some others. The General Register Office Northern Ireland (GRONI) has databases for all of what is now Northern Ireland. Run a basic search for free; pay a modest fee to view detailed results and original record images. For both countries, privacy limitations apply.

an irish baby with her mother, an event that would be recorded in irish records.

The following are details about each type of registration.

Irish Birth Registrations

Civil birth registrations typically include the following information:

  • The child’s name
  • The child’s sex
  • Birth date and place
  • Both parents’ names, including the mother’s birth surname
  • The father’s occupation and residence
  • The name and residence of the informant (the person providing the information)
  • Often, the informant’s relationship to the child

The free FamilySearch index includes births for all of Ireland (1864–1922) and the Republic of Ireland (1922–1958). has original register images of births up to 1919. GRONI allows access to birth records older than 100 years.

Irish Marriage Registrations

Civil registration began for non-Catholic weddings in 1845 and for all marriages in 1864. In marriage registrations, you’ll find the following information:

  • The name of the bride and groom
  • The marriage date and place (including the denomination if it was a church wedding)
  • The bride’s and groom’s ages
  • The residences, occupations, and marital statuses of the bride and groom at the time of the wedding
  • Fathers’ names and occupations (and sometimes whether he was still living)

Marriage registers were typically signed by the bride, groom, and witnesses.

Marriages for the Republic of Ireland (through 1958) and Northern Ireland (through 1922) appear in FamilySearch’s free index. For Northern Ireland, GRONI makes marriage records available that are older than 75 years; these marriage records go back to 1845. For the Republic of Ireland, has images of original marriage register from 1845 to 1944.

a historic irish building.

Irish Death Registrations

Civil registrations of deaths offer another glimpse into an Irish relative’s identity. These records include the following information:

  • The deceased’s name
  • The deceased’s age and marital status
  • His or her occupation
  • The date and place of death
  • Details surrounding the death

When a child died, parents’ names may be included in the record; so might the spouse’s name of a married or widowed woman. In what is now Northern Ireland, the death registration of an unmarried woman might give the name of her father.

Again, look to the free FamilySearch index for deaths across all of Ireland (1864–1922) and for the Republic of Ireland until 1958. GRONI’s death registration databases include deaths that occurred more than 50 years ago; the site also has an index dedicated to World War II deaths (1939–1945). At, you’ll find register images from 1871 to 1969. (Records back to 1864 will eventually be added.)

The Irish flag.

Beyond Irish Civil Registrations: More BMDs

Civil registrations aren’t the only resource for learning about your relatives’ vital life events. Clues about births, marriages, and deaths may also appear in old newspapers. The British Newspaper Archive has over 750,000 digitized newspaper images for Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Records date back to the 1700s, but the bulk of these are for the 1800s and 1900s. If a branch of a family emigrated, don’t forget to consult overseas newspaper collections too. Here’s how one researcher discovered unique details about an Irish family wedding in newspapers.

As you dig further back in time for Irish BMDs—before civil registrations and even before surviving newspaper coverage—you’ll eventually find yourself turning to church records. Your ancestors in today’s Republic of Ireland were most likely Catholic, though wealthy Anglo-Irish families often belonged to the Church of Ireland. In what is now Northern Ireland, your ancestors were most likely Catholic, Church of Ireland, or Presbyterian. Depending on the time and place, they may have belonged to another church. Learn more about Irish church records.

Search for Irish Ancestors

Start your search for your Irish ancestors in FamilySearch’s free collections.

Unique Irish Names You’ve Never Heard

2021. február 19., péntek 2:00:00

“Is fearr Gaeilge briste, ná Béarla cliste.”

The Irish proverb above translates to “broken Irish is better than clever English.” This proverb reflects the sentiment that it is better to try to speak any Irish you know than to speak perfect English and that it is important to learn the language of your people, your country, and your heritage.

Do you have ancestors from Ireland? If so, the Irish language, and therefore Irish names, may be a part of your heritage.

Irish names vary from the exotic to the surprisingly commonplace. Many names that originated in Ireland have also become a part of the cultures that Irish immigrants have joined. Names common in many English-speaking countries can be traced to Ireland; some even alternative or traditional spellings. Even if you aren’t Irish, you may find Irish first names in your own family tree.

Irish Girl Names

The following names are some of the most popular girl names of Irish origin in the United States. Did you know that all of these common names came from Irish?

a little girl with a shamrock headband
  1. Briana
    Meaning: noble
  2. Caitlyn, Kaitlynn
    Meaning: pure 
  3. Cassidy, Kassidy
    Meaning: curly haired
  4. Cathleen, Kathleen
    Meaning: pure
  5. Gael
    Meaning: someone who is Gaelic
  6. Eileen
    Meaning: beautiful bird
  7. Kelly, Kelley
    Meaning: red haired
    Original Irish spelling: Ceallaigh
  8. Keira
    Meaning: dark
  9. Kelsea
    Meaning: island of the ships
  10. Muriel
    Meaning: sea bright
  11. Lynn
    Meaning: from the lake
  12. Nora
    Meaning: honor
  13. Rylie or Riley
    Meaning: from the rye clearing
  14. Shannon
    Meaning: straw worker
    Original Irish spelling: Sionain; the Shannon is also a river in Ireland.
  15. Tara
    Meaning: hillside
a little irish girl sits on a bridge

The following 5 names are the most popular girl names in Ireland in 2019. Not all these are Irish in their origin. But just as Irish names have spread across the globe, Ireland has drawn influence from other cultures. 

  1. Emily
    Origin: English
    Meaning: to excel
  2. Grace
    Origin: Latin
    Meaning: charm
  3. Fiadh (fee-ah)
    Origin: Irish
    Meaning: wild
  4. Sophie
    Origin: French
    Meaning: wisdom
  5. Hannah
    Origin: Hebrew
    Meaning: grace

Irish Boy Names

The following 15 names are some of the most popular boy names with Irish origins in the United States. As with the feminine names above, some of them may surprise you.

A little boy next to an irish top hat. this boy could have an irish name.
  1. Aden
    Meaning: little fire
  2. Braden
    Meaning: salmon
  3. Brian
    Meaning: noble
  4. Casey
    Meaning: vigilant in war
  5. Connor
    Meaning: descendant of hounds, from the old Irish name Conchobhar
  6. Cory
    Meaning: hollow
  7. Devin
    Meaning: descendant of the dark-haired one
  8. Declan
    Meaning: full of goodness, original Irish spelling Deaglán
  9. Duane
    Meaning: little dark one
  10. Fynn
    Meaning: fair
  11. Kieran
    Meaning: dark
  12. Liam
    Meaning: with gilded helmet
  13. Ronon
    Meaning: little seal
  14. Ryan
    Meaning: descendant of the king
  15. Shane, Sean
    Meaning: God is gracious

Of course, the list wouldn’t be complete without the top 5 boy names in Ireland in 2019. Not all these are Irish in origin, but they were the names most chosen by Irish parents in 2019.

  1. Jack
    Origin: English
    Meaning: God is gracious.
  2. James
    Origin: Hebrew
    Meaning: supplanter 
  3. Noah
    Origin: Hebrew
    Meaning: peace
  4. Conor
    Origin: Irish
    Meaning: wolf lover
  5. Daniel
    Origin: Hebrew
    Meaning: God is my judge.

Irish Surnames

You may have noticed that some of these Irish names are also part of common Irish surnames. The “O” found in some Irish surnames simply translates to “of.” So the surname O’Brian means descendant) of Brian. This form is similar to many naming traditions in other countries, such as English surnames like Johnson, or the son of John, and Swedish surnames like Johansdotter, or daughter of Johan.

an irish mom and a little girl laugh together in the leaves.

Irish Name Pronunciation 

Today, English is the most commonly spoken language in Ireland. However, Irish is one of the country’s official languages, and it is still spoken by many people throughout Ireland as well as in parts of the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States. This beautiful language is a part of Ireland’s heritage and national identity.

While it may seem intimidating at first, Irish pronunciation makes sense if you set aside the pronunciations you know from English. Irish phonetic spelling is more consistent than English letter sounds are; for example, C always has a hard K sound, even when followed by an H. In Irish, a C is never pronounced with a soft S sound. The letter G is never pronounced like a J, but always makes the guttural G sound. 

The only variations in pronunciation come from the vowels nearest the consonants. Vowels are either broad (a, o, u) or slender (e, i). The An Gael magazine, an Irish language magazine, has a helpful pronunciation guide for those who want to learn more about how to read and pronounce Irish words and names.

Here are some examples of Irish names with Irish spellings:

  • Aisling (ash-ling) is a feminine name meaning a vision or dream.
  • Caoimhín (kee-vin) is a masculine name meaning handsome, beautiful, and kind. This name is an alternate spelling of the name Kevin. St. Caoimhín is the patron saint of Ireland.
  • Saoirse (seer-sha) is a feminine name meaning freedom.
  • Sonnagh (sun-ah) is a masculine or feminine name meaning a mound.
  • Tadhg (tayg) is a masculine name meaning a poet or philosopher. Tadhg was number 8 on the 2019 list of popular baby names in Ireland.
  • Taisce (tash-ka) is a masculine or feminine name meaning treasure.

Irish Names in Your Family

Do you have Irish heritage? Do any of your ancestors have Irish names? Even if you aren’t Irish, you may find Irish names in your family tree. Search your tree, and discover more about your own family’s history!

Jen Allen: The Woman Behind the RootsTech Magic

2021. február 17., szerda 19:00:00

Organizing the annual RootsTech Conference is no small order—and RootsTech Connect has been a challenge in its own right. It takes someone of phenomenal skill to organize something so grand—and that’s where Jen Allen comes in. Think of Jen Allen as the conductor of a grand orchestra, making sure every string is tuned and every performer is ready to bring the symphony of RootsTech to life each year for the entertainment and edification of thousands of family history buffs.

Who Is Jen Allen?

Allen is a hometown girl who grew up in West Jordan, Utah, a small suburb about 25 minutes southeast of Salt Lake City. When she graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in English, she says she “expected to teach high school English for the rest of [her] career.”

It didn’t work out that way—but for Jen, that was probably a good thing. She has always had a passion for organization and management. In fact, if there had been an “events planning” major when she was in college, she would have been first in line to sign up.

Jen Allen as a young girl

Before she became involved with FamilySearch, she was sidetracked from teaching English into scrapbooking—a hugely popular hobby at that time—where she managed events in the craft industry for nearly 9 years. She says, “Jumping from scrapbooking to family history really is not all that different—both are preserving family stories, just with less glitter and stickers.”

Now, Allen is head of the 9-member RootsTech team—and has been for 9 of the 11 years of RootsTech’s existence. After being involved with RootsTech for so long, Allen has learned to value her ancestry more deeply and knows a great deal about her own ancestors. In fact, her family now looks to her as the “go-to” person when genealogical questions arise.

Jen Allen’s Work with RootsTech

RootsTech is a massive genealogical conference hosted by FamilySearch. Typically, it takes place in the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah—though 2019 saw RootsTech spread to London as well.

This year’s global gathering, however, is a decided departure from the past. The coronavirus pandemic has caused us all to look at things differently—this year, there will be no streams of enthusiasts headed for the Salt Palace Convention Center.

Instead, the streaming will occur via computer, phones, or other portable devices with internet access as a virtual program that reaches beyond Salt Lake City into the far corners of the world.

“COVID changed everything,” Allen said.

What has been lost in the traditional “warm fuzzy,” in-person atmosphere that has meant lots of shoulder-rubbing with like-minded enthusiasts in the confines of the Salt Palace has been gained in greater numbers of participants, she noted.

Jen allen with her family

RootsTech 2021 is expected to draw more than 250,000 people to the online event, compared with some 30,000 who were in the Salt Palace Convention Center for last year’s event. And nearly 90 percent of them have never attended RootsTech before. Over 1,000 sessions will be broadcast by hundreds of presenters in multiple languages.

Global pandemic or not, the show is going on.

Leading the RootsTech Connect Charge

A bigger event means more to manage—but Jen has lots of support. Scores of FamilySearch employees have responded to the call for help under tight deadlines and will be unsung heroes as many happy viewers tune in to learn, be entertained and inspired, and make new personal and family discoveries when the curtains of RootsTech 2021 open to a global audience.

Allen estimates that through the duration of the 2021 RootsTech event, slated for 25–27 February, more than 900 people behind the scenes—a combination of volunteers, temporary hired hands, and many FamilySearch personnel—will have contributed an unbelievable effort toward a one-of-a kind, very successful conference.

RootsTech Speakers from a previous year on stage.

The contributors to this year’s virtual event range from FamilySearch directors, managers, and employees to third-party vendors, hundreds of notable speakers, and the FamilySearch technology experts who will have an enhanced role this year trying to create the event’s signature in-person magic and vibrancy in an entirely online environment.

Those are a lot of strings to tune and orchestrate. Knowing which one needs tweaking at which time is something Jen has learned over the years with RootsTech, which has easily grown into the largest gathering of family and genealogy enthusiasts in the world.

Not bad for a woman who had never signed in to a family research site until she “got the job”!

New Ideas Pioneer RootsTech Connect

Planning RootsTech Connect 2021 has been based on a new concept—a free, full schedule of virtual gatherings that will allow participants to stay at home and take in their personal choice of selections. The focus, as always in all things RootsTech, is on helping people learn more about their own ancestry and on cementing generations as families.

“We have experiences planned in 11 languages, but even more than that are coming in,” Allen said. “It makes it more complicated, but it brings in more people who can participate from all over. You might even discover you have a cousin in Ireland.”

Planning for each annual RootsTech event occupies all the one-year interval between events. There is no rest for the weary. As soon as the current year’s event is over, part of the “sweeping up and clearing away” will include an in-depth analysis.

Jen Allen at RootsTech

“We’ll spend a couple of weeks learning what we can from this year’s event and then begin planning for next year’s program,” said Allen. How much the unique circumstances that guided planning for the global 2021 session will spill over into future events remains to be seen. Even if the pandemic eases and a large gathering is approved, elements of the virtual format are certain to be incorporated in future RootsTech events.

“Virtual will never go away,” said Allen. She acknowledged that vendors who love a face-to-face opportunity to tout their genealogy-related wares are hoping for a live event. And many enthusiasts are longing for the shoulder-rubbing opportunity again.

Jen Allen’s Life outside of RootsTech

With a commitment to RootsTech that seems likely to stretch a long way into the future, Allen hopes for some travel time. She and her family spent some time last year in Amsterdam, and found it a real “Dutch treat,” she said.

But when travel is not on the agenda, Jen and her family enjoy watching movies, particularly action films and comedies. And there is always the search for those who went before.

Although genealogy has traditionally been perceived as an activity for elderly persons, Allen notes that more and more children and teenagers are finding it to be an interesting and rewarding pastime. Her own boys, ages 13, 12, and 9, “are growing up with it.”

A girl participates in RootsTech from a previous year.

“They think their mom has an important job,” she said. Her husband too is a RootsTech fan. “He goes to classes and loves the events. It all helps create an experience for our family.”

With Jen and everyone else who has contributed to this year’s event, RootsTech Connect is shaping up to be a conference you won’t want to miss. Be ready to visit the site on 25 to 27 February to take part in all the excitement.

Explore the New Family History Library Website

2021. február 16., kedd 16:19:41

The Family History Library in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah, just launched its new Family History Library webpage. As the brick-and-mortar flagship of FamilySearch International, the library offers much that is available on But the library also has unique resources that are featured on the new Family History Library website along with access to library records.

The webpage allows for real-time library updates to information about operation hours, special events, library news, and new and expanded services. Among those services, patrons worldwide can schedule 20-minutes appointments for free personal online research consultations with family history experts, a service that is available in multiple languages.

The new webpage is still growing. David Rencher, the chief genealogical officer for FamilySearch and director of the Family History Library, says this resource is just the beginning of plans for the library’s updated web presence. The website will grow and expand.

“Moving forward, we will build out the webpage with a global reach to help our patrons’ and guests’ expanding needs. The Family History Library offers the largest collection of genealogical materials in one place, making it a premier destination for family history resources and genealogical expertise,” Rencher said. “Its mission is constantly expanding to meet the evolving needs of guests throughout the world—and at no charge.”

The Family History Library is currently closed due to the worldwide pandemic, but through the website, worldwide guests can participate in discovering their heritage and families. The website is currently available in German, Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Chinese. Japanese and Italian will be added soon.

When pandemic conditions allow, the library will again host a variety of in-person experiences, such as one-on-one help in-person at the library, heritage and discovery experiences, and more. Meanwhile, many such experiences can be accessed through the website.

Learn about Your Heritage

The Family History Library offers discovery experiences to help visitors understand their own family’s stories.  You may find some of your ancestors on our worldwide tree!

two women looking at ipad in Family History Library discovery center

Sign Up for Free Online Consultations

From the homepage, you can schedule online personal research consultations with Family History Library experts. These consultations are available in multiple languages and accommodate worldwide time zones. The consultations are currently offered in English, Spanish, and Mandarin Chinese, with more languages to be added.

Explore the Learning Center

Go to our Learning Center, and select from hundreds of the library’s previously recorded research helps—from tips and tricks to full-length seminars. Watch them on your own schedule! Guests will again be able to attend free in-library and online classes when the Family History Library reopens.

learning center screenshot

Save Your Family Treasures

Records, certificates, and other memorabilia can be fragile through time. The library offers free access to on-site equipment to help guests preserve pictures, memories, and stories to save and share with family.

View the Collections

The Family History Library has the largest collection of genealogically important records in the world, and the collection is ever expanding! Currently, the library houses more than 340,000 genealogically unique books, 1.3 million microfilms, 190,000 microfiche, and a collection of 18,460 maps from around the world. The goal is to make all Family History Library materials available to people throughout the world. However, some items and digital materials are contractually restricted and available only at the Family History Library. Many are also available through family history centers, regional centers, and affiliate libraries worldwide. The library will soon offer free look-up services. The library layout is included online to help you plan your visit.

Access a Center Near You

More than 5,100 family history centers and libraries affiliated with FamilySearch dot the earth.  The library website will soon offer a portal to the various centers, where the centers can provide information about their services adapted to their area and facilities. As pandemic restrictions lift, people can again go to these centers for in-person services.

Receive Family History Help

The objective of FamilySearch is to help people find joy as they discover, gather, and connect their families—wherever records can be found. Assistance includes support for other organizations and facilities engaged in family history. The Chief Genealogical Office of the Family History Library reaches out to support family organizations, genealogical societies large and small, affiliated libraries, and others wherever they are located. They offer services, equipment, and other support as needed.

The library gathers, preserves, and shares important records from around the world and provides copies of the preserved records back with the source. Using those records, the library supports the efforts of FamilySearch to develop a sound, crowdsourced, worldwide family tree.

Free Cloud Storage on for Saving Your Most Important Family Photographs

2021. február 12., péntek 0:00:00

Holidays, special events, and daily life can create some of the best memories of being with family and participating in fun traditions. Using your phone to snap pictures of everything that happens has become very natural. True, the phone part can sometimes be a little bit aggravating. But, really, photo opportunities just aren’t complete if the family hasn’t been rounded up and threatened to hold still as the camera operator gets to the photo app on the phone.

After you have captured your precious memories on your phone, you need a good place to store your favorites so your loved ones can enjoy them for years, even generations. Good thing FamilySearch has free cloud storage for you to take advantage of! By using FamilySearch Memories, you can safeguard your most prized photographs for free!

You read that right. If you have an account with FamilySearch (which is free to everyone and always will be), you have access to free cloud storage for your most cherished family photographs, historical records, and other heirloom family documents. This isn’t the place to keep ALL your photos (such as the ones your kids take when they steal your phone and get 53 pictures of their stuffed animals); we want you to store only your best and most impactful memories.

a boy rides a bike, a memory to save in familysearch memory cloud storage

How to Use FamilySearch’s Free Cloud Storage

With FamilySearch’s free cloud storage, it’s possible to upload photos from your device or take them with your phone. Both methods take only a few seconds. Let’s take a closer look at how it works. You might be surprised how easy it is to start building your family history.

Uploading a Photograph to FamilySearch’s Free Cloud Storage that is Already Saved to Your Device

Let’s say you took a picture a week ago, and now you want to upload it to—so you’ll always have it and know where it is and family members 50 years from now can enjoy it. Follow the instructions below. (If you’re a FamilySearch pro, you might have other steps for accomplishing this task. The steps presented here will get you to the same place!)

From a laptop or desktop computer

  1. Go to, and sign in to your account.
  2. In the menu bar at the top of the screen, click Memories.
  3. In the drop-down menu, click Gallery.
  4. Near the top of the screen, in the center of the page, click the green add icon (+).
  5. Click Choose Files.
  6. Select the file you want to upload. We’ll talk about tagging and giving the photograph a title in a moment.
how to upload your memories to familysearch cloud storage

Uploading an Existing Photograph or One You’re about to Take with Your Phone

how to add a memory to FamilySearch cloud storage from your phone.

You can upload photos already on your phone at any time, or if you’re about to take a really great photograph of a really important moment, you can take it within the app and upload right away. Here’s how you do both:

From your phone

  1. Open the FamilySearch Family Tree or Memories app.
  2. Find the green add icon (+), and tap it. If you are using the Family Tree app, open the menu, and tap Memories, and then tap the green add icon (+). You can also add a memory to a specific ancestor by going to the person’s page, selecting the Memories tab, and tapping the green add icon (+).
  3. Tap Add Photo.
  4. Existing photos: Tap Camera Roll, and select your desired photo; tap Add, and then tap Save.
  5. New photo: Tap Take Photo, say “cheese,” and capture the moment.
    1. To upload the picture to, tap Use Photo.
    1. To take a different picture, tap Retake.
  6. You can crop or rotate, and then tap Save.

Tagging and Giving the Picture a Title

Once the photograph has been saved to your FamilySearch Memories page, you can do multiple things to make it a more meaningful piece of your family’s history.

  • To begin with, you can give the picture a title. A title adds context, let’s people know what they’re looking at, and helps when you try to search for it in the future.
  • You can tag the people who are in the photo so people 100 years from now will know who is who.
  • You can give the picture a topic tag, and the picture will show up when other people search for that topic. (To make the picture invisible to searches, go to the Memories gallery on the FamilySearch website. Click the drop-down menu next to Public, and change the setting to Private.)
  • You can add audio—a recording of yourself or others talking.
  • You can create a slideshow of your memories to share on social media or at an event such as a birthday party, wedding, or family reunion.

Then again, maybe this is all more than you wanted to know. These options aren’t meant to overwhelm you. Their only purpose is to help you and those you love discover joy and inspiration from your family history. Use them as you think best!

Three children sit with their arms around each other.

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

Often when we think of family history, we think of long manuscripts, books with chapters in them, and detailed autobiographies. A picture, though, can be just as inspiring, just as insightful. The best part is, it only takes a moment or two to add one to your Memories gallery.

One by one, these pictures add up. Your family history begins to take shape. Where once you thought you would never have time to create a meaningful, comprehensive family history, now you have entire albums cataloging your family’s adventures—as well as the assurance that what you’ve created will be preserved for many, many future generations to enjoy.

This is what FamilySearch’s free cloud storage is all about. We hope you’ll take advantage of it.