"Character is the one thing we make in this world and take with us into the next."
- - Ezra Taft Benson
October 28, 2015
The Blessing of Partner Access
by Kathryn Grant

If there’s a theme for family history in the Church today, it’s that the work is hastening. Exponentially. Research that used to take weeks and even months—such as finding birth or census records—now can take just minutes, thanks to these records being digitized and put online.

FamilySearch has made billions of digitized historical records available on the FamilySearch website. Even so, there are billions of other genealogically-valuable records that aren’t available through FamilySearch. Some are easily available only on paid subscription sites. While family history centers offer free access to many popular subscription sites, not everyone has a family history center nearby or can get there easily when they’re open.

So, in their ongoing quest to help members succeed with their family history, FamilySearch has formed partnerships with key family history players, such as Ancestry, MyHeritage and Find My Past. As a result, members of the Church can get free subscriptions to these websites, which means access to a treasure trove of additional historical records anywhere they have an Internet connection. (Users age 13 – 17 require parental consent to sign up for free accounts.)

The free subscriptions may not cover all historical records on partner sites, of course—you may occasionally come across a specialized record collection that requires a paid subscription. But in my experience the free subscriptions cover the most important and helpful records, such as birth, marriage, death, and census records.

You can sign up for free partner access on this page:

If you’d like step-by-step instructions for signing up, visit this FamilySearch blog post:

Can we expect more partnerships in the future? According to Dennis Brimhall, the answer is yes. “This collaboration is one of the many ways we will accelerate the delivery of family history resources and make them accessible to the world.”

So take advantage of these amazing free resources, and watch for more to come.

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About Kathryn Grant

Kathryn Grant is a user assistance professional with a passion for usability and process improvement. She also loves family history and enjoys the challenge and reward of building her family tree.

As a child, she lived outside the United States for four years because of her father's job. This experience fueled her natural love of words and language, and also taught her to appreciate other cultures.

Kathryn values gratitude, teaching, learning, differences, and unity. She loves looking at star-filled skies, reading mind-stretching books, listening to contemporary Christian music, attending the temple, and eating fresh raspberries.

Kathryn teaches Sunday family history classes at the BYU Family History Library, and presents frequently at family history events. For more information, visit her Family History Learning Resources page

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