FamilySearch celebrates twenty years of helping people find their ancestors online

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24 May 2019
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On 24 May 1999, FamilySearch revealed its first website. Since then the world of genealogy has changed so much, but as this report reveals, our interest in tracing our ancestors is as strong as ever.

On 24 May 1999, FamilySearch revealed its first website. Since then the world of genealogy has changed so much, but as this report reveals, our interest in tracing our ancestors is as strong as ever.

Since its beginnings, FamilySearch has expanded and evolved its free mix of online offerings, holding true to its purpose to provide economical access to the world’s genealogical records and create fun family history discoveries for everyone. 

FamilySearch was an online pioneer in offering free access to hundreds of millions of historical records online. Nowadays, millions of new customers visit the site each year, looking for new family connections. FamilySearch boasts over 7 billion searchable names and over 3 billion searchable images of historical records, adding more than 300 million new historical records and images yearly from archives worldwide.

Remembering the early days of FamilySearch

Randy Bryson, now retired, was a FamilySearch IT director when the site was launched in 1999. He fondly recalls the big day: "Traffic on the site was so extreme at the time of the launch that we had to limit user access to 30 minutes at a time. The amazing thing was that people didn’t go away. When they were timed out, they would just log right back in to finish their search.”
 
See what has changed and make new family connections in your family tree for free at FamilySearch.org.