Find that elusive ancestor with NEW tool from FamilySearch


18 February 2020
Your chances of finding a missing ancestor have been 'dramatically increased', FamilySearch report, as they announce the release of a new tool to unlock data in digital-only images.

The Explore Historical Images tool helps users easily navigate the growing sea of free digital image collections at FamilySearch to make ancestor discoveries more quickly. 

Your ancestor is probably here...

FamilySearch has published billions of images of historical records from archives worldwide and continues to add over 350 million new record images every year - millions every week. 

However, around 80 percent of those online genealogical records are not searchable by name, meaning that you might not be able to just type in the names of ancestors to find them. Filling in the missing branches of your family tree often requires sleuthing through digital images of the original records online.

John Alexander, records experience manager at FamilySearch, said, “If FamilySearch has a digital-only image of your ancestor’s genealogical records—which it most likely does—now, through a friendly interface, Explore Images will enable you to go to a single source to find it.” 

How does the tool work?

Type in a place-name (city, state, county, or country) for an ancestor event (birth, marriage, date, other), and Explore Historical Images searches FamilySearch’s digital-only collections and returns relevant record collections that meet your criteria.  

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John says that a very small percentage of users have been taking advantage of the rich content in FamilySearch’s billions of record images. For them, Explore Images is going to be a game changer in making ancestor connections: “Previously, you would have to become very familiar with navigating the FamilySearch Catalog online to find what was there. Explore Images simplifies that experience."

Get started with FamilySearch here.

QUICK LINK: Find your notable Victorian ancestors at Family Tree Live

(report and image courtesy of FamilySeach)