What’s Coming from FamilySearch in 2019

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

FamilySearch creates free services to promote family fun and family history discoveries.SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (7 January 2019), The popular, free genealogy website, FamilySearch.org, announced its 2019 plans to enhance its record search and Family Tree search capabilities and introduce new interactive discovery experiences. FamilySearch is a global leader in the growing Family History market segment, serving 12 million users worldwide.

In addition to over 300 million additional historical records and images for family history discoveries, look for the following new offerings in 2019.

1. Online Interactive Discovery Experiences

For the first time, fun discovery experiences that have been available only at life-sized, interactive kiosks in select FamilySearch venues will also be available on FamilySearch.org in 2019. Making these three discovery experiences available online will expand the reach of the activities to more patrons globally.

  • All about Me

Have you ever wondered about the origin and meaning of your name or what events happened in the year you were born? The All about Meexperience will allow you to discover these fun things about yourself and also about your ancestors.

  • Picture My Heritage

This simple and fun experience lets you insert yourself digitally into traditional clothing related to your heritage. On Picture My Heritage, you can save your custom photos or share them with friends and family.

  • Record My Story

Priceless stories and memories from you or family members can be recorded on Record My Storyand added—by text or audio—to FamilySearch.org or downloaded to another source.

2. Family Tree and Friends, Associates, and Neighbor (FAN) Relationships

The free FamilySearch Family Tree will give users the ability to record other relationships to an ancestor beyond immediate family members, when applicable, such as friends, associates, and neighbors (FAN). This function will aid research by allowing users to record information about other people living in an ancestor’s household as noted in a historical record, such as boarders or staff.

FamilySearch will continue to develop site experiences that enable families to connect with their ancestral homelands near and far. FamilySearch.org will also provide more help throughout the site to make it easier for visitors to accomplish key tasks in a few simple steps.

3. Updated Find Capability

The FamilySearch Family Tree search capacity will be significantly updated to provide faster and better results. Another innovation will allow search engines such as Google to present names and limited facts from the Family Tree to online search queries without the searcher being signed into FamilySearch.org. This feature will enable millions of people searching for their ancestors online to discover the vast, free services FamilySearch offers them.

4. Memories

Millions of people use FamilySearch Memories to record, preserve, and share their family photos, historical documents, and stories. In 2019, users will be able to record audio remembrances related to a photo they have uploaded. Memories will also give users the capability to organize items in an album according to their interests or needs.

5. RootsTech London 2019

RootsTech will hold an additional conference in 2019 in London, England.The first international version of the highly successful RootsTech family history conference will be held in London on October 24–26, 2019, at the ExCel London Convention Center.

The RootsTech London 2019 convention will not replace the annual conference in Salt Lake City (held on February 27–March 2, 2019) but will be an additional RootsTech event. Registration for RootsTech London opens in February 2019.


About FamilySearch

FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org or through over 5,000 family history centers in 129 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.


Thank you….more blessings provided by FamilySearch. I use your program a lot, rarely have I come away empty handed.


So exciting 😍thank you all so much.


Helen Rachel Lutke January 8, 2019 at 7:24 am

Familysearch keeps getting better and better. Glad I’ve been using it for well over 20 years and will continue.


Good job Family Search!


Thanks, FamilySearch! Appreciate all that you do!


Love Family Search. Always find something and they are always adding more records. Great source.


This is wonderful information! Thank you so much for your success in making this easier for people to search for their ancestors! I really enjoy family search and learning more about my family!


I was searching records in the Philippines from the 1920’s a few days ago and for the first time ran into the requirement to sign in as an LDS member. Is the Mormon church going to be securing more of its records behind member-only walls? The records are Philippine government records, not Mormon records; I was surprised that the Philippine government would allow that exclusivity. Or was it because of a hundred-year privacy rule? What we really need is fewer scanned records that are only visible at Family History Centers or high level libraries.


    —> Is the Mormon church going to be securing more of its records behind member-only walls?

    The Mormon church will always make all records public that they are able to do so legally. In all case, a contract was signed (perhaps years ago) between the archive that held the records and the organization that wishes to make them available to everyone online or on microfilm or on paper or whatever means is best. That is true of FamilySearch (the Mormon church), Ancestry.com, MyHeritage.com, Findmypast.com, and all other organizations that place copies of old records online.

    In most cases, the archive that holds the original records is the one that decides how they may be made available to others. The Mormon church (or Ancestry.com, MyHeritage.com, Findmypast.com, etc.) have no choice. They legally must comply with the contractual agreement in place.

    I do not know the specifics of the records you mentioned but I do know a very common scenario is this: Years ago, an archive signed a contractual agreement with FamilySearch that specified the records could be made available on microfilm and viewed only in Mormon church local centers. As the years went by, other technologies replaced microfilm. Now FamilySearch wants to make the same records available online to everyone, in the privacy of their own homes. However, the archives that holds the original records never agreed to that and the contract does not mention online availability, so FamilySearch cannot legally place them online.

    In a few cases, the archive that owns the original records might want to REDUCE the public availability of these records for any of a number of reasons. (The possibility of identity theft is the big scare these days but I am sure there are other reasons also.) FamilySearch does try to renegotiate the contracts. Some archives will agree while others will not. In all cases, the legal terms of the contract must be followed.

    —> I was surprised that the Philippine government would allow that exclusivity.

    I suspect the Philippine government DEMANDS the exclusivity.


    Thanks for the reply, Dick. I hear you. I am new to Philippine research, as well. If what you say is true, perhaps the Philippine authorities thought limiting access was a way to safeguard the records, but religiously speaking, limiting the access to non-Catholics makes no sense for such a Catholic country. Thanks for your input!


    “religiously speaking, limiting the access to non-Catholics makes no sense for such a Catholic country” – in cases like that, I think it’s usually in the nature of a payment. The LDS films the records for the authorities, for free, and provides films (once upon a time) or digital copies to the authorities. The “payment” made by the authorities is that the LDS can allow its own members to access those films (once upon a time) or digital copies.


I really love the Family Search site. I was exploring and discovered that my family is directly related to Robert the Bruce of Scotland. There were a lot of emails between all of us over this news. Because of this, I reconnected with some cousins that I had lost track of years ago. (◦’ںˉ◦)


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