Family History Library and Major Regional Family History Center Patrons to Receive Free Access

Ancestry____logo.bmpFamilySearch and The Generations Network Agreement Give Patrons Access to More than 24,000 Databases and Titles

Provo, UT – December 19, 2007 – FamilySearch and The Generations Network, Inc., parent company of, today announced an agreement that provides free access of to patrons of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City and the thirteen largest regional family history centers effective today.

With this new agreement, full access will be provided to more than 24,000 databases and titles and 5 billion names in family history records. In addition to the Family History Library, the following 13 regional family history centers have been licensed to receive access to
• Mesa, Arizona
• Los Angeles, California
• Oakland, California
• Orange, California
• Sacramento, California
• San Diego, California
• Idaho Falls, Idaho
• Pocatello, Idaho
• Las Vegas, Nevada
• Logan, Utah
• Ogden, Utah
• St. George, Utah
• Hyde Park, London, England

“We’re excited for our patrons to receive online access to an expanded collection of family history records on,” said Don Anderson, director of FamilySearch Support. “’s indexes and digital images of census, immigration, vital, military and other records, combined with the excellent resources of FamilySearch, will increase the likelihood of success for patrons researching their family history.”

The Generations Network and FamilySearch hope to expand access to other family history centers in the future.

FamilySearch patrons at the designated facilities will have access to’s completely indexed U.S. Federal Census Collection, 1790-1930, and more than 100 million names in passenger lists from 1820-1960, among other U.S. and international record collections. Throughout the past year, has added indexes to Scotland censuses from 1841-1901, created the largest online collection of military and African American records, and reached more than 4 million user-submitted family trees.

Free access is also available at Brigham Young University Provo, Idaho, and Hawaii campuses, and LDS Business College patrons through a separate agreement with The Generations Network.

“FamilySearch’s Family History Library in Salt Lake City is one of the most important physical centers for family history research in the world, and we are happy that patrons to the Library and these major regional centers will have access to,” said Tim Sullivan, President and CEO of The Generations Network, Inc., parent company of “We’ve enjoyed a ten-year working relationship with FamilySearch, and we look forward to continued collaboration on a number of family history projects.”

About – Visit us at
With 24,000 searchable databases and titles and more than 2.5 million active users, is the No. 1 online source for family history information. Since its launch in 1997, has been the premier resource for family history, simplifying genealogical research for millions of people by providing them with many easy-to-use tools and resources to build their own unique family trees. The site is home to the only complete online U.S. Federal Census collection, 1790-1930, as well as the world’s largest online collection of U.S. ship passenger list records featuring more than 100 million names, 1820-1960. is part of The Generations Network, Inc., a leading network of family-focused interactive properties, including,, and Family Tree Maker. In total, The Generations Network properties receive 8.7 million unique visitors worldwide and more than 416 million page views a month (© comScore Media Metrix, October 2007).

About FamilySearch
FamilySearch is a nonprofit organization that maintains the world’s largest repository of genealogical resources. Patrons may access resources online at or through the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, and over 4,500 family history centers in 70 countries. FamilySearch is a trademark of Intellectual Reserve, Inc. and is registered in the United States of America and other countries.

Media Contacts
Paul Nauta
FamilySearch Manager of Public Affairs

Mike Ward
Public Relations Director

17 thoughts on “Family History Library and Major Regional Family History Center Patrons to Receive Free Access


    I, Karl Sala, am a former 2-year international consultant @ who, since 1979, has found thousands of ancestral family members for hundreds of clients, patrons & subscribers. I am not paid to state the following clarifications about’s home-based subscription & why most people should not be doing research without it!

    I strongly encourage each of my clients to have a membership @

    Yes, you may quote me, but please provide my email address & 24-hr toll-free # 1-888-4KM-SALA (456-7252).

    CAVEAT RESEARCHOR! What people will miss–or at least NOT be able to do–by NOT home-subscribing, i.e. using only @ the FHCs: the “My Ancestry” tab, which is potentially worth THOUSANDS of $ to THOUSANDS of people.

    Long story shortened, the “My Ancestry” tab has lesser-known, but highly valuable, efforts-easing, time-saving, & frustration-preventing capabilities & functions. These include, but are not limited to, tree-building, your being able to grant variable-levels of authorization (Viewer, Contributor or Editor), collaborative capabilities. But high on the list is the ability to research ancestors in singular or multiple databases–without having to continually re-type in their specific data! Then, one can:
    Quickly alter the search parameters (by scrolling to the bottom of the page).
    Often actually FIND data, documents & images.
    Attach those census, et al. documents &
    HAVE THE SOURCE IMMEDIATELY “DOCUMENTED” FOR YOU! This includes not only the usual source data, but also the source’s URL, i.e. http//www, etc.
    Attach documents & photographs from home
    Do even more!

    I consider these functions to be worth more than half the value of the subscription price of the World Deluxe package—which is nothing short of an INTERNATIONAL TREASURE! In its entirety, is probably worth 10 times what people are now paying for even the highest cost subscription.

    If, however, you cannot find what you seek on, please contact me with the details. If I find what you seek, my minimum charge is $100, but could be more–depending on just what it is I have found.

    If you contact me, be sure your account is active. You’ll thank me later.

    Karl Sala, US, UK & Germanic genealogist since 1979! 1-888-456-7252

  2. What about Canadian Family History Library offices? There are many researchers in Canada that would like to have access to through the regional family history centres.

  3. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Last spring when I was in Salt Lake City at the Family History Library, it was VERY frustrating to not only NOT be able to use Ancestry, but also to be blocked from accessing my own paid for subscription to the Ancestry site. I am glad that common sense has again prevailed…It is a win-win for both Ancestry (if patrons of the library who do not have a subscription can see how wonderful you are they might be more encouraged to fork over the money for a subscription to the site at home) and for the library patrons who are already using the site to have access once again in SLC.

    Again, thank you.
    Laurice Johnson
    Menifee, CA

  4. I think it’s great that you want to provide information to everyone, but if I want to get some of these databases like the U.S and International Collections I pay extra for this. I’ve been a paid member for many years even when the prices increased and it doesn’t seems quite right that data that we pay hundreds of dollars to access will we free to others.

    Janet White

  5. Looks like the majority of the Family History sites are in the South West, mostly in California and Utah. What about the rest of the country????
    Dick Reynolds

  6. I agree…if free access is given to some…it should be given to all…no matter where they live…I was thinking about signing up again…but why should I pay for something that others can get for free?

  7. I, too, have been a long time subscriber to and have been discouraged to see new subscribers receive incentives while I have to pay full price. I quite agree with #3 and #5. All the needed extras keep going up in price and now everyone who lives near an FHL location with access can get free for what I have to pay. Ancestry needs to rethink their pricing policies to make it more reasonable and accessible to all of us. Why should I continue paying hundreds each year? It doesn’t seem fair: It doesn’t make sense.

  8. I think most do not recgonize that the Family History Centers will be the only place to use the Ancestry program. Other who choose will be able to receive it at their homes and will pay a price. Thats what I think. Could be wrong but lets see what happens in January.

  9. US Delux home subscription costs about $13/mo if paid by the year – about the cost of a medium pizza. What a bargain! You can easily spend that much in gasoline to travel to a the source of free usage to Ancestry.

  10. Having Ancestry access at those particular facilities is like giving Christmas dinner to the Rockefellers instead of the needy.

  11. I think it is wonderful that will now be available at the 13 largest Family History Centers. My family has a subscription to the service which we gladly pay for the convenience of being able to do research in the middle of the night in fuzzy slippers. The availability of the service at the FHCs makes for a more efficient research experience. I don’t carry all of my files and notes with me when I visit the FHC and I appreciate being able to reference a document through ancestry that might take me 30 or 40 minutes of precious research time to look up manually. Besides, the more people who bcome familiar with will surely subscribe.

  12. I feel Ancestry is very expensive. It is hard to find some information as there are so many names and it is not written that you can pull up specific years or whole names. I get very frustrated and feel I some times waste a lot of time.

  13. I have had trial subscriptions and have used Ancestry at the Nashville Public Library (the Nashville Public Library allows library card holders to access from home- though a limited license agreement between Ancestry and the library prevents my free access of Ancestry at home) and would gladly be a PAID subscriber if I could find ship manifests and naturalization papers of key ancestors with common (Anglicized) surnames, using these to trace them back to Russia, Poland and Lithuania.

    One key relative- my Russian-born great-great-grandmother- was married more than once and I don’t know any of her husband’s first names. She died in Des Moines in 1912 in Des Moines (before death certificates were required- there is none for her) and all of the cemetery records were destroyed as no one has been buried where she rests since the early 1930s.

    I would gladly pay Mr. Sala (Ancestry, or anyone else $100 to “find the papers” on my great-great grandma (she lived with her daughter and son-in-law and is listed in the 1900 and 1910 censuses as well as the 1897 Des Moines City Directory) but asking me to pay that or MORE and resubscribe to Ancestry without its adding any helpful databases in the meantime- well, that’s a bit much!

  14. I loved the site. I was a member for years but with the prices going up & my bills also I had to make the choice of my home & bills before I could spend the money on a hobby that I love. It is a shame that this couldn’t be more user friendly in cost & what happened to all the free information to only those on the West Coast???? What happened to those in the East???? We are just as important & have done our share of research. I really do hope that in the furture I can again subscribe to your site but at the moment that is impossible.

  15. It is real big of you to use family databases. You allowed all the libraries to access your databases for $1.00, then took it away from them. Now you are allowing 13 to use ancestry again. I am sorry they allowed you to use them like you have!!! Especially since you reneged on you original agreement.You are working on a monopoly. And your prices are too high and your searches stink. Anyone who has to do genealogy from home has to use ancestry. We have no choice. Can’t access several states that I use to because you took them over. Some of your info is wrong because you don’t know how to read the microfilm !!!!! Greed will come back haunt to you. By the way–I am not LSD.

  16. I have been a volunteer at the regional FHC in Syracuse, NY for about 5 years now. The database was very popular there, and many patrons came in to use it and supplement their microfilm research. Since you took back the access, things seem a lot slower at the center, and it is discouraging to volunteer when not many patrons are visiting. was often a jump-start to someone’s beginning research. Now I am reading you are offering it to the largest centers, and I just wonder why you don’t offer it across the U.S. and not just to the largest centers who probably have more resources and clients than other smaller centers. What’s the logic behind your decision?

  17. Since I do not have much time to devote to my genealogy, I use Ancestry 98% of the time. Many times, I find that I am using all of my time scrolling down 100’s of names trying to come up with my search. I do have my family tree on Ancestry, but have had some difficulty with it. I do think it is expensive with all of our other necessities going up in price. I do need the convience of doing my searches at home at this time. It’s like everything else, if there wasn’t money to be made, it wouldn’t exist!

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