LDS Church members will get free access to more family history records

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  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    Oct. 2, 2014 6:04 p.m.

    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.

  • DCVB Huntington, TX
    April 10, 2014 6:47 a.m.

    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.

  • readbofm ,
    March 10, 2014 4:18 a.m.

    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.

  • readbofm ,
    March 10, 2014 4:12 a.m.

    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.

  • Oatmeal Woods Cross, UT
    Feb. 22, 2014 3:18 p.m.


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

  • jaylazya Eagar, AZ
    Feb. 17, 2014 7:34 a.m.

    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!

  • Nora Nell Olympia, WA
    Feb. 12, 2014 2:32 p.m.

    Our local FHC currently only has the "Institutional" version of It sounds like once this is implemented, those at the FHC will have access to the FULL version of 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.

  • Marie Ferguson Glenning Valley, Australia, NSW
    Feb. 11, 2014 12:16 a.m.

    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.

  • Teddybear241 Jesup, GA
    Feb. 10, 2014 9:11 p.m.

    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!

  • jzer Haworth, OK
    Feb. 10, 2014 7:16 p.m.

    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.

  • sukiyhtaky us, CA
    Feb. 10, 2014 7:02 p.m.

    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 well as other non-LDS donations. So I'm waiting, but not canceling my Ancestry membership.

  • FamlyMan Elizabethtown, PA
    Feb. 10, 2014 4:50 a.m.

    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.

  • Brendavivian Hanford, CA
    Feb. 9, 2014 12:01 p.m.

    This is AWESOME news! It is my understanding that around last September the church PAID 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 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 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!

  • Bird of fire Henderson, NV
    Feb. 9, 2014 10:37 a.m.

    @ 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.

  • Oatmeal Woods Cross, UT
    Feb. 8, 2014 7:51 p.m.


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

  • ninarose Boise, ID
    Feb. 8, 2014 3:57 p.m.

    When does this start? What a blessing! I would love to have 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.

  • cougar1234 Easton, PA
    Feb. 8, 2014 6:45 a.m.

    When is this going to occur?

  • southmtnman Provo, UT
    Feb. 8, 2014 6:33 a.m.

    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.

  • kargirl Sacramento, CA
    Feb. 7, 2014 10:40 p.m.

    This would be a dream come true--I'm so broke, I can't even pay attention! I'm "addicted" to family tree-climbing, and to the extent I could, contributed all possible to Ancestry's records and photos, including finding family I connected with on Facebook, and through one cousin, other relatives online as well. I'm looking forward to doing all I can to shake the "nuts and dolts" as my Uncle Les put it, out of our trees! I've got like-minded friends who are all in, so keep us all abreast of the latest news!

  • genbug47 Hamilton, MT
    Feb. 7, 2014 3:22 p.m.

    I already have a US subscription to Ancestry that will run out in April. How do I get the free world connection or is it just through the libraries. And why is it only for church members. Isn't that going to cause some static? I think it is great, I would love to be a part of this. Thank you.

  • love idaho Pocatello, ID
    Feb. 7, 2014 11:09 a.m.

    I also can understand, some, who are not members of this Church, wondering why they aren't getting the same thing. I'm sure the Church has made an agreement with the companies that they are not giving it for "free" to everyone. The LDS Church is paying and/or has made some type of trade to receive this. The companies cannot just open their companies for free to everyone. They are businesses and it takes money to run them. The Church has met some type of compensation to make it possible to make the deal they have. However, making this free to anyone who wishes to go to a History Center is, also, very generous of the involved companies. I am very thrilled over this. What a wonderful opportunity for all of us. Thank you to the companies for their generosity and to the LDS Church for making this opportunity available.

  • JGayle Kirkland, WA
    Feb. 7, 2014 9:56 a.m.


    Access will not include the family trees on Ancestry or other features Ancestry provides. It is records only, and some of those records originally came from FamilySearch.

  • Soonergrma Okc, OK
    Feb. 7, 2014 9:33 a.m.

    I feel your frustration and understand how it may feel unfair. One thing this article didn’t mention is how we are not really getting it for free, we are paying through our tithing funds. Those who are not members do not pay into this fund.
    Members of the LDS faith have a different purpose for finding our ancestors who have passed on than do those not of our faith so I can understand why the Church has worked hard to make this more available to all it’s members, progressing forward with the purpose of our faith. You can still access it for free through the Family History centers all over the world. You don’t have to be a member to use those centers nor will they try to convert you there. May you be blessed in your search for your ancestors.

  • Mormonmama0106 Phoenix, AZ
    Feb. 7, 2014 8:50 a.m.

    I am so excited by this news! I can't wait! I am the family history researcher in my family and also do all the research for my husband's, ex-husband's and other friends' families. I have long wanted a World subscription to Ancestry but just couldn't afford it. I am incredibly excited to see where this new access will take me in my genealogy studies! This will be an amazing help and blessing!

  • Missouri Coug Greenwood, MO
    Feb. 7, 2014 8:25 a.m.

    Glad to hear the Church is finally working with, I too, like most members, cannot afford to pay the high monthly fees for research, but I do recognize there are many sites which have lots of information we could use to verify the authenticity of our records.,..

  • LLJ123 Hollywood, CA
    Feb. 7, 2014 6:34 a.m.

    My tree is now private and I will only share upon careful consideration of who I am dealing with. I really feel taken advantage of. The experience is feeling more like a rip off than ever. So unfair. I did not know that I was signing up to a service of the Mormon Church when I joined Ancestry. They certainly do not advertise it that way. It is presented as a service for paying subscribers. Now that I know I am working directly with the Mormon church I had better consider a way of removing my 3000+ member tree completely and work with some other genealogy database. What a rotten development.

  • LLJ123 Hollywood, CA
    Feb. 7, 2014 6:33 a.m.

    I have been a loyal customer of for years and have worked very hard on my tree. I have maintained a public tree in the spirit of sharing with other members. I find this free access for some and not others is just awful. How dare they make ME pay for the usage of others who do not contribute a penny. already has free use of all my research for free, research I have sweat over and invested a lot of time and money in, in fact I pay them as well! Now Mormons get access to it without even paying! This is just so unfair. I certainly can not afford World Access!

  • rickswife Cordes Lakes, AZ
    Feb. 6, 2014 9:10 p.m.

    David is awesome. I'm just curious how soon eventually is. I have been doing my genealogy for over 20 years but have found doing research out of the United States is expensive. So yeah for being able to do research in other countries.

  • Clifton Palmer McLendon Gilmer, TX
    Feb. 6, 2014 7:04 p.m.

    Super-excellent news!

  • love idaho Pocatello, ID
    Feb. 6, 2014 6:44 p.m.

    Someone mentioned they wondered why this offer was just going to Church members. It is just a guess, but I would think it is because it is funds that members pay in, that could be helping to pay for it. I am excited over this wonderful opportunity.

  • rmacbeth Abingdon, VA
    Feb. 6, 2014 5:59 p.m.

    This is very good news.... now I hope that their will be a way to convert and link the data that we have done these other sites to Family Search.

  • cassandove Tampa, FL
    Feb. 6, 2014 5:14 p.m.

    I hope this access comes soon! :D I'll be able to do my husband's family history work, at last! :D

  • Bluto Sandy, UT
    Feb. 6, 2014 4:47 p.m.


    Never forget that Ancestry.Com built it's business on 100 years of record gathering and data, compiled by the LDS Church and it's members.
    Whatever deal they agreed to, will be beneficial to both parties.

  • fwinxee Lapu-Lapu, 00
    Feb. 6, 2014 4:47 p.m.

    This is such a great news. I'm so excited!

  • jpjazz Sandy, UT
    Feb. 6, 2014 4:15 p.m.

    The church has granted access to it's data to these co's for years, it's about time that members can view it for less than an arm and a leg!

  • Sequoia Cupertino, CA
    Feb. 6, 2014 2:51 p.m.

    Family History Centers are free for everyone to use, not just
    Church members. It says free to the "General public" but the headline is misleading, sounding exclusionary. Materials in the Family History Centers have always been free or almost free to members and the General public. It isn't uncommon to have more of the public using the family history centers than church members.

  • annewandering oakley, idaho
    Feb. 6, 2014 2:20 p.m.

    This is wonderful news! Making it world wide is such a blessing to those doing family history research. I have been limited to doing only US research due to lack of funds so am very excited. :D

  • JGayle Kirkland, WA
    Feb. 6, 2014 2:11 p.m.

    Great news! FamilySearch made a trade - some of their records for access to My Heritage, Ancestry, and Find My Past. FamilySearch has crews copying records in 40 countries on any given day. Instead of duplicating what the three subscription sites had, they negotiated to give members access. On the website of My Heritage (records covering 60 countries), they state: "2.2 billion records coming from FamilySearch!" It's a win-win for everyone!

  • AnnaLoughridge1 Dumfries, SC
    Feb. 6, 2014 2:09 p.m.

    Wonderful News. I am lucky enough to serve as a Consultant at my ward Family Histroy Centre. 2013 was a fantastic one for my research. Having heard from an unknown american member (non lds) of my grandmother's line in April who had all her family on I have spent many many hours in the centre transferring her data onto paper and then many hours putting it onto Familytree I now have a few years temple work to do Unless a church member pops up to do it ( I am the only one in my extended family) My great great grandfather chenged the spelling of the surname so I did not know of the existence of his 4 siblings that emigrated to America in 1850/60s Information the she had has solved 3 problems I have been researching for 24 years. I cannot afford a subscription and need the world one for my Irish ancestry

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Feb. 6, 2014 1:49 p.m.

    Is one of the perks supporting a private enterprise? Is this a club or association, or something else?

    Feb. 6, 2014 12:56 p.m.

    When? The article didn't say how soon this will be available. How will we get the information on how to access the sites.

  • panamadesnews Lindon, UT
    Feb. 6, 2014 12:30 p.m.

    To Esquire: You need to realize that when you belong to an organization, you receive certain perks. Being an LDS member, this is just one of many of the perks I have by being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Everyone has that same opportunity. I'm not saying that one should join the Church so as to receive a free subscription to these sites, nevertheless, it is one of the perks members have.

  • Russell Spencer Boise, ID
    Feb. 6, 2014 11:49 a.m.

    I spent a summer during college working for Ancestry-.-com (comments apparently can't contain URLs, even when the URL is in fact the companies name...). It is an exceptional resource. For anyone interested in family history, what an amazing blessing!

  • Jared NotInMiami, FL
    Feb. 6, 2014 11:38 a.m.

    Re: Esquire

    Support comes from both access to church materials (for the 3 companies) and from tithing (or other similar funding). Anyone who is not a member can go into a church family history center and get access for free so it's not just for church members. People are welcome to join the church if they want access from home.

  • voiceofreason1234 SANDY, TX
    Feb. 6, 2014 11:33 a.m.

    I do not know why my comments are being denied... Here is my 3rd attempt to express my JOY at this negotiation going through... It is a huge day for all who love their ancestors and want to find their records. Very Good Day! Thanks to all who were involved in this process of negotiations. Truly amazing.

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    Feb. 6, 2014 11:21 a.m.

    Now if we can get the newpapers or some other entity to publish free obituaries. They have become so expensive that ususally only very short versions of an individual's life is printed. Yet an obituary is a very important historical record and needs to be preserved for future generations.

  • voiceofreason1234 SANDY, TX
    Feb. 6, 2014 11:13 a.m.

    Wow! This is really huge!! Tell ALL you know about this. Really, fantastic. World edition of Ancestry is pricey, and to get it for FREE as a member of the Church! Wow, I am just thrilled. We are on the brink of something big here, the records are going to be opening up at an accelerated pace! I feel like I am witnessing a miracle - a vision of the Old Testament days or something. Just Awesome! Thank you for negotiating this for family researchers - thank you so much.

    Quoting Joseph Smith: The greatest responsibility in this world that God has laid upon us is to seek after our dead.

    Do you believe this quote? I do! Taste the sweetness that accompanies researching one's ancestors and submitting their names for ordinances in the Temple. There is no greater feeling than this (Spirit of Elijah is real).

  • amagnetick AV, CA
    Feb. 6, 2014 10:42 a.m.

    I really don't care why we're getting access for free. It doesn't matter what deal was struck, if the Leadership of the Church feels this is important, I support it fully. I have full confidence that they take their stewardship of the Lord's funds extremely serious. Hastening the Work isn't just for the living, it's obvious to me that those on the other side of the veil want their work done too!

  • loiskay Vancouver, WA
    Feb. 6, 2014 10:36 a.m.

    For the past few years I've been finding my census and vital records through Ancestry and adding the info to my AQ database, then re-entering info into FamilySearch, a 3-step process, but I had to find obituaries on my own after family members died. I recently started adding those obits and histories and other sources to my family trees in Ancestry with the intention of adding them to Family Search Family Tree later on. I still have difficulties using Family Tree but hope some improvements will make it easier for me to have correct and complete records. If these record sources ever merge it would save a great deal of work on my part but every improvement is appreciated.

  • Demisana South Jordan, UT
    Feb. 6, 2014 10:21 a.m.

    @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. ;)

  • Burnham Bountiful, Utah
    Feb. 6, 2014 8:41 a.m.

    This is great so when will we know that we can request a refund on the remainder of our subscription? Ha!

  • Doug Zumbrun marion, IN
    Feb. 6, 2014 8:18 a.m.

    @RG, I read an article earlier that told about how Family Search is giving access to the records in the Granite Mountain. I imagine this is the repayment.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Feb. 6, 2014 8:11 a.m.

    I kind of have to agree with RG. This is good, but why the deal for just Church members?

  • liahona Westbank, BC
    Feb. 6, 2014 7:27 a.m.

    Ancestry is great, but sure wish one of the genealogical programs/companies would go into South Africa and extract records. Currently SA records are a mess and piled in boxes.

  • ny's amy jo Rochester, NY
    Feb. 6, 2014 7:28 a.m.

    I am so excited about this. I have wanted a membership to but it is far out of my reach financially. This is exciting and I can't wait for it to start.

  • pat1 Taylorsville, UT
    Feb. 6, 2014 7:20 a.m.

    This is such wonderful news!

  • RG Buena Vista, VA
    Feb. 6, 2014 6:12 a.m.

    So, perhaps many DN readers like me are curious how much (if any) the Church had to pay these companies.

  • David Tevita Maka Stone Cedar City, UT
    Feb. 6, 2014 4:03 a.m.

    The doors to heaven are being opened wider for family history. I'm excited about using I have heard they are an awesome program that will help me further in my family research. David L. Stone