Comments about ‘LDS Church members will get free access to more family history records’

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Published: Wednesday, Feb. 5 2014 11:00 p.m. MST

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Provo, UT

As LLJ123 points out, this is not all good news.

Many non-LDS have a legitimate concern that now their ancestor's records will be exploited by Mormons to "convert" them through proxy baptisms for the dead.

For example, The LDS Church has a demonstrated history of disregarding the feelings of Jews by doing baptisms of Holocaust victims.

Some reassurances are in order.

Easton, PA

When is this going to occur?

Boise, ID

When does this start? What a blessing! I would love to have ancestry.com for free as I have been paying for it for over a year or two and really can't afford it right now. This is amazing announcement. Thank you.

Woods Cross, UT


LDS church members have been advised it is against LDS church policy for members to do temple work for anyone other than family members.

Bird of fire
Henderson, NV

@ GrandmaInMO Access will probably be through church membership numbers. Family Search requires our membership numbers when we first sign up so I figure the same will be had for these websites as well.

Hanford, CA

This is AWESOME news! It is my understanding that around last September the church PAID Ancestory.com about $60 million dollars and opened the "Granite Mountain Vaults" so to speak to have them come in and help to digitize all the records we have. The church has said it would take us about 300 yrs. to do all this digitizing on our own even with all the vast amount of volunteers we have. Our church leaders know the urgency with which the Lord wants this work put on line so families around the world can find their ancestors. I know their are many who feel that giving free memberships to LDS members is not fair but it was the tithing funds of members that was used to PAY Ancestory.com. So in essence we have already paid for our memberships. Plus our Family History Centers are open free to the public with any and all the records we have. Since the beginning of Ancestory.com much of the information they have came from the LDS church and we NEVER charged them for the records we had. This collaboration with these different companies is going to be a win win for everyone involved!

Elizabethtown, PA

I can certainly see how this might seem "unfair" to those who are paying for subscriptions. In my experience, I really can't think of anybody I know that is involved in genealogy simply for the sake of going farther than the next guy. Genealogy is history on a personal scale. It helps satisfy a deep need to understand how we fit into the broader world around us. It truly is a journey of many lifetimes woven together from the past, the present and the future. I really am not concerned with how or why they have access. Think of it. Opening access to these records to millions of people who seem truly motivated to search out their ancestry is only going to help people of all faiths to find more success in their lines.I truly believe this is a huge step forward for everybody. With this development, we are going to see a blossoming of success unlike anything we have ever experienced.

us, CA

3-4 years ago when enticing non=members to do indexing, vague promises were made that those who made substantial contributions would have access to paid sites in the works as LDS were going to have. Well, we jumped in, we contributed signigicantly more than many LDS members...I personally have 80,000 names in with a 98% accuracy...only to see I suspect as do others, that our work was being passed over to Ancestry for them to sell. Will FS honor their promise to us? and make provision for those free accounts as a reward for our work? And before anyone hits me with the tithing excuse...I went to BYU as a nonmember and I give them $50 a month to the President's fund and 25 a month to BYU-TV...as well as other non-LDS donations. So I'm waiting, but not canceling my Ancestry membership.

Haworth, OK

Very excited about this announcement. I am at the point in my family history work that I need access to Ancestry to verify accuracy and correct inaccurate information in my records. Can't afford the subscription right now so this article brings very welcome news.

Jesup, GA

My ancestry subscription is up 3/10/14. I called and they said that world access would be $299 this year (special last year of $199). I can't afford $299. My question is when this transaction takes place, will I have access to my information on ancestry now or will I have to start all over again. Can someone please answer this for me? Thanks!

Marie Ferguson
Glenning Valley, Australia, NSW

The best news yet, I pay for Ancestry, around 400.00 a year and it keeps going up here in Australia. I use Ancestry every day, so this is such good news, I know so many people who will now be able to go deeper into their families. What a wonderful blessing, thank you to those who have worked with Ancestry,and others. I know the Church is sharing I believe over 1 billion names, so this seems to be a wonderful trade off. This is going out to my ward. So wonderful when we can all come together and work for the good. This is the Lord's work progressing. Thank you.

Nora Nell
Olympia, WA

Our local FHC currently only has the "Institutional" version of Ancestry.com It sounds like once this is implemented, those at the FHC will have access to the FULL version of Ancestry.com and the other two subscription programs. Since I am a member of the LDS Church, it sounds like I will be able to work from home. Guess I have earned it, am the SID for the past 11+ years. This is indeed a marvelous development.

Eagar, AZ

I read this article with tears in my eyes! What a great time to be alive! What a blessing this will be! I am one of those who cannot afford the subscription & don't always have time to get to the library or Family History Center to access their version. The strides being taken in Family History Work are amazing & what a blessing technology has been to increase accessibility to so many records & the speed at which these records are being added to is nothing short of miraculous!

Woods Cross, UT


You have an excellent argument. I hope that people in your situation are granted some benefits as well.


Some have asked why the agreement did not include free access to partner sites for non-members. I do not believe it has anything to do with payment or non-payment of tithing. The case can also be made that many non-members contrubute substantially in time indexing, and service at FHC. Agreements must have equal considerations for both parties, and I am not sure how the partner sites could grant free access to non-member, would that not include everyone worldwide, and put the partner site out of business? I have no connection to the agreement, and I am just speculating.


People with existing subscriptions have asked questions. First I do not believe there would be and option for a refund unless you had just renewed within the last 30 days when you received your email notice of free access. Second when you receive an email invitation, you would be offered to converty your existing accounts. Not all members will receive the access at the same time. They will have to roll this out over a period of weeks and months to allow the partner sites to absorb and establish the large influx of new accounts. I would caution church members to be patient, thier turn will come. Watch for an email invitation this summer.

Huntington, TX

This is great for LDS members, but those of us who have helped index these records are getting a slap in the face from family search I suspect the indexing will now slow to a crawl.

The Scientist
Provo, UT

Demisana wrote:

"@RG because if the Church is paying them for access, it's our tithing funds that paid for it. To my knowledge non-members don't usually pay tithing."

I do.

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