FamilySearch, the mega-genealogy-site that has billions of genealogy records online, and all FREE, has just announced that if you create an account on their site, there is a heap of benefits. Of course you will still be able to access FamilySearch without creating an account, but you will only have access to part of what they offer, so why would you, when you could access the full lot just by entering your name and password.
Their Press Release explains it well with a bunch of FAQs…
Salt Lake City, Utah (16 November 2017), Beginning December 13, 2017, patrons visiting FamilySearch.org will see a prompt to register for a free FamilySearch account or sign in to their existing account to continue enjoying all the free expanded benefits FamilySearch has to offer. Since its launch in 1999, FamilySearch has added millions of users, billions of various historical records, and many fun, new features like Family Tree, Memories, mobile apps, digital books, and dynamic help. In order to accommodate continued growth of these and future free services, FamilySearch must assure all its partners that its content is offered in a safe and secure online environment. Patrons creating a free account and signing in fulfills that need.
Patron sign in will also enable FamilySearch to satisfy the ongoing need for user authentication. This authentication can deliver rich, personalized discovery, collaboration, and help experiences. Simply put, signed-in visitors can access more searchable content and enjoy more personalized services.
“A large percentage of our current site visitors are not benefiting from much of what FamilySearch has to offer because they don’t realize the need to simply sign in with their free account to do so,” said Steve Rockwood, FamilySearch CEO. “They are basically arriving in the parking lot but not coming inside for the main event,” he said about website visitors who do not sign in.
FamilySearch is committed to patron privacy and does not share personal account information with any third party without a patron’s consent.
1. Do I have to pay for a FamilySearch account?
No. Your FamilySearch account is, and always will be, free.
2. How do I create a free FamilySearch account?
See Registering to use FamilySearch.org. The only information you will need is your first and last name, a username, a password, and an email or mobile phone number.
3. What if I have forgotten my username or password?
See Recovering a forgotten username for signing in to FamilySearch.org.
4. Will you sell my information?
FamilySearch does not share your personal account information with any third party without your consent.
5. How will my experience be enhanced?
FamilySearch offers many services and experiences that are free but that require you to sign in as a subscriber to fully use. In addition to historical records and Family Tree access, signed-in subscribers receive personalized experiences, notifications, and other features (see above).
6. Why do users need to log in to perform searches or to create a family tree?
FamilySearch wants to provide you more access to records and a rich, personalized experience with more successful discoveries. By signing in, you allow the FamilySearch system to customize and deliver its best services to you.
7. How will my contact information be used?
Your information is used in the FamilySearch system to facilitate collaboration between users (you control how much information is shared).
– The Family Tree and Memories features display your username and any other contact information you approve when using select features.
– Your information allows you to send in-system messages to other users without revealing your personal identity or email address.
– FamilySearch will send you email and newsletters to keep you informed. You can specify how much email, if any, you receive.
– Your contact information is accessed when you contact the support group for help.
8. Is there anything I can do without signing in?
Absolutely. There are still a number of things you can do on FamilySearch without signing in. You can search the catalog, digitized books, genealogies, the Wiki, and the learning center. You can also view user-contributed photos and stories.
While it’s great that some stuff is still accessible without an account, but I note that they do to list “records” as being still accessible without logging in. Personally I am a big user of FamilySearch for their records (not their trees), so I shall now be creating an account and will log in before doing future searches.
So what are you waiting for? If you haven’t already created a FamilySearch account, simply go to their site www.familysearch.org, look for the “Free Account” button on the top bar, and add in your name, a username, and password. It’s that easy.