FamilySearch.org is one of the largest and most trusted websites for genealogical research for several reasons. As many may already know, this site is run by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. This site is completely free for all to use, whether they are members of the LDS Church or not.

With over 100 years of experience collecting and preserving records, the LDS Church created a website to digitize their vast collection, which grows daily due to worldwide digitization projects (indexing) manned by an international army of volunteer indexers working from home.

This site sets itself apart from the rest not only by its pricing, but the sheer volume of records one can access as well as the degree of assistance which is available in a variety of forms – anywhere from online self-instruction videos or step-by-step tutorials, to online chat (24/7) or honest to goodness live help at one of the 4,600 Family History Centers operated and manned by volunteers. In an industry where the customer service of other companies is concerned primarily with billing of technical support, having assistance from another genealogist is priceless.

The site is robust and filled with helpful hints and tips on the WIKI pages with topics for new genealogists and those whom are more seasoned. 

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The Good

  • Features
  • Free membership
  • Mobile app

FamilySearch.org is a top-notch site which has many features integrated to make family research easier. These include:

  • Access to census records (1790-1940)
  • SSDI database
  • Family tree building (with several layouts to view and print data - traditional pedigree, fan and dependency)
  • Free membership (upon signing up with a membership, users can determine the level of privacy which they want as far as allowing other members to connect to them and contact them via email)
  • Access to obituaries, newspapers and books
  • Multiple language platforms
  • Comprehensive blog with educational and informative articles on family history
  • Helpful WIKI to guide research
  • Ability to upload images, documents and create life sketches of family members to bring their records to life
  • Data protection - when duplicates or errors are found, members email their notes through on onsite system with their information corrections and documentation to try and reduce duplicates and correct errors
  • Puzilla.org (run by FamilySearch.org) gives additional opportunities to research dependency and find cousins (also free)
  • Mobile app allows for quick additions on the run
  • Volunteer opportunities for all to help digitize (index) records from home to increase the digital databases available
  • Huge network of Family History Centers (worldwide) at which to receive free help from other genealogists
  • Social Media presence with helpful tips - Facebook, Twitter and Google+
  • YouTube Channel with instructional videos

The Bad

  • Web freezes

Our review team noticed that when adding family members into their family trees (especially when importing them from another member's tree), the page can freeze up and needs to be reloaded by clicking another link and then going back into the tree page. This seems to happen during the times which internet traffic is higher. While not a full crash, this can become frustrating when working on building your trees.

The developers obviously worked hard to make the site user friendly. There is a learning curve to its use and it is not always intuitive.

The Bottom Line

Our review team is confident in recommending FamilySearch.org for anyone wanting to begin their family history research or to expand the branches of their family tree. This site is well-planned and offers access to records which other sites charge (sometimes hefty fees) to access. Having so many venues for personal help, not only with the functionality of the site (technical), but with the research itself make this site a real bargain - indeed a treasure even.

User Reviews

Star Rating

4.8
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698 Reviews

Review Breakdown

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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
1%

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CoasterRider

February 20th, 2021 Show Low, AZ

I use FamilySearch.org on a weekly basis. It is my go-to for family history research. It is organized and user friendly. Outstanding genealogy site!

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Steven Klaproth

February 20th, 2021 Show Low, AZ

They are an excellent resource for doing family history or just finding ancestors. They are good about sending information on my relatives.

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Rylaan Marlowe

February 19th, 2021 Roy, UT

Very easy to navigate and find information on my family! It really opened my eyes to my family’s past!

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The Man Flake

February 17th, 2021 Rio Rancho, NM DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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I really love FamilySearch.org, it allows me to see and find my ancestors and their stories, as well as perform important ordinances for them that they never had before their death.

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The Voice Over Closet

February 17th, 2021 Anaheim, CA

Family search is a wonderful tool for discovering and adding more about family history! I love that you can add pictures, voice memos, and documents to bring your family members to life 😊

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Cynthia DeGrey

February 17th, 2021 ,

I’m able to add family information and also review information submitted by other family members. Family Search has also recently made timelines available to me for deceased family members

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Cassidy Blaser

February 17th, 2021 American Fork, UT DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Love this website! It is very easy to use and I have found out so much about my family from using it.

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Holly Magnusson

February 16th, 2021 , DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Honestly at first this website was a little confusing, but once I got going it made more sense. Also it becomes a little addicting, like in a good way. I love the side game / facts such as the maps of where my ancestors are from, my look alike, famous relatives and so much more. I feel geeky saying this but I have fun with this app.

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Lex

February 16th, 2021 Midway, UT DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Pretty easy to use, I don't look at it all the time but very interesting to see the family tree. They make it easy to find relatives and add them to the tree, My mom uses it ALOT

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Syd13

February 16th, 2021 Washington, UT

Family search makes family history easy and fun! It is so simple to enter in data.

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Wilkshake

February 16th, 2021 Lehi, UT

It is great to have a site which collects so much info from other sources I do not have access to.

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Tammy

February 16th, 2021 West Valley City, UT

FamilySearch is a great way to research your ancestors. The site is easy to use and very informative.

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Lukaah Marlowe

February 12th, 2021 American Fork, UT DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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It is great to be able to find all of my ancestors, and to see where I’m from. The only reason for 4 stars is because it is sometimes hard to navigate the area.

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Bing Yeung

February 11th, 2021 Riverton, UT DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Family search is user friendly and rich in data. You can expand your tree with your family members. Fun activity with family to learn more about your family history.

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Kh

February 10th, 2021 Springville, UT

I have used family search for years, they continue to make it more and more user friendly.

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Taylor Hall

February 10th, 2021 Los Angeles, CA

familysearch.com is so easy to use. It is easy to get overwhelmed with genealogy work, but this website simplifies it. I love finding my family and it is so easy to keep track of my work. I’ve never had any issues with the website.

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Tracy McMillan

February 10th, 2021 Orem, UT

Family Search is an amazing tool to find information about ancestors and a place you can enter valuable information about loved ones.

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Whitney Wilkins

February 10th, 2021 West Valley City, UT

I have loved family search. It is very easy to use and find what I'm looking for. I love having easy access to my family tree and basic information. It also emails me with notifications or new features I may be unaware of. This includes things such as information about relatives, famous ancestory, pioneers, etc.

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Randy Rhodes

February 9th, 2021 Alpine, UT

Always reliable and handles lots of data well. They have continued to upgrade the site over the years.

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Paige Ellis Slade

February 8th, 2021 Gilbert, AZ

I love familysearch.org. It helps me stay connected with those that have gone before me in a way that wouldn’t be possible. I love looking up little facts or stories from my ancestors and I want to do more of it. Today I was able to wish my dad a happy anniversary to his parents because of this great familysearch.org service. So special!

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Melissa M

February 8th, 2021 Kansas City, MO

They have incredible resources and partnerships to help to your genealogy. I also like the various emails they send about new I formation and significant dates for ancestors.

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Kristen Dorsey

February 3rd, 2021 Sun City, AZ DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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I love FamilySearch.org! I really enjoy finding family connections and I love it when FamilySearch sends me new family connections and stories!

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Julianna Bateman

February 2nd, 2021 Mont Alto, PA

I love looking at my family history and reading their stories and seeing their pictures. I enjoyed submitting stories of my own grandpa after he passed away so that others can read and benefit from them.

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Jordon Patton

February 2nd, 2021 Pflugerville, TX

I recently started using FamilySearch again and they've made a lot of really awesome improvements that make it more fun! I am also a youth leader, and we were able to show the youth how to use the website to do fun things like finding stories about their ancestors, seeing things like who won the Super Bowl the year you were born, where your ancestors come from by percentages, and more.

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Ashley Johnson

February 2nd, 2021 Las Vegas, NV

My favorite way to do my family history! So easy to use, and find my deceased relatives.

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CoachTrista

February 2nd, 2021 Saratoga Springs, UT DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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After using a few different sites, I now only use Familysearch.org. This is the easiest platform for me to find ancestry and share with my other family members.

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Van M.

February 1st, 2021 Orem, UT

I love that they send me information about my relatives each week and I have been able to learn a lot because of it. This is such a great platform to do genealogy work .

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Sherry Bateman

February 1st, 2021 Port Coquitlam, BC

I like this company because I am able to not only see my family tree and add to it but I appreciate the weekly reminders that are sent regarding my ancestors including timelines, historic information, grave markers etc.

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AshMan17

February 1st, 2021 Riverton, UT DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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I enjoy how they prompt me with interesting ancestral facts about my family. I love the way that you can view your lineage in many different ways and that you can upload photos, stories, etc about yourself and your ancestors .

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Jason Burt

February 1st, 2021 Riverton, UT DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Love this tool for tracking my family history! It is easy to use, has accurate records, and the price (free) is hard to beat! One feature I really like is how easily you can tie records (like census records) to your ancestors to verify their information. Would strongly recommend it to anyone interested in doing the same!

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Whit

February 1st, 2021 Orem, UT

I love FamilySearch.org because it is simple and easy to understand. I have used it for many years as I've tried to learn more about my family history. I do feel like they could do better about the connection they offer in creating faster paces responses.

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Mary Johnson

February 1st, 2021 Flower Mound, TX

Family Search is a great way to learn more about your ancestors and more about yourself! It is user friendly, even for my kids, who like to see which ancestor they look the most like and what percentage American they are. It's also a great place to keep track of important life details and memories.

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Joe Bateman

February 1st, 2021 Port Coquitlam, BC

Terrific service. The ability to share memories is in if the best features. Maybe second best to the fan chart.

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applebutteranna Butler

February 1st, 2021 West Wendover, NV

Family search is great at helping you stay connected to your ancestors. They will email you cool new information and updates about your relatives.

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Mike Halliday

January 31st, 2021 ,

Have found many family connections and stories through this site and appreciate knowing more about my heritage!

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Becky

January 30th, 2021 Gilbert, AZ

I love family search! It has so many cool options! I love that I can post pictures of my family to access forever and that I can make voice recordings!

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Rachel Butler

January 30th, 2021 Provo, UT

I love all the features of family search for trying to make active connections with ancestors. I wish that there was an easier collaboration with other sources of records.

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Mark Troxel

January 29th, 2021 Provo, UT DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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I have found FamilySearch to be a free service. The main problem with it is that there is a lot of information that is inaccurate. Parent listed as siblings, wrong spouse information. You need to confirm any information that you use. It has improved over the years and there are ways to correct info but it can be cumbersome. The reason I rate FamilySearch 4 stars is that the service is free. Compared to what you get versus the sites you pay for, FamilySearch is the best deal around. It is maintained by one of the largest collectors or genealogy information in the world.

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lscho2

January 28th, 2021 Salt Lake City, UT

It was cool, they show your family tree and trace it back to countries. Very easy to use and see where your family is from.

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Katrina Breithaupt

January 28th, 2021 Provo, UT

I use FamilySearch.org almost everyday. It is simple to use and has SO many resources. This website offers easy access to a wide variety of things like indexing names from images, sources to attach to individuals, various views of your family tree and so many more tools that make family history so much easier!

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Valerie Beus

January 27th, 2021 Richland, WA

I love family search! I honestly use the app everyday to research my family and read their stories!

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Hailey Burt

January 27th, 2021 Riverton, UT

I think that family search is an awesome family history tool. I have used it a lot and I love how much you can find out about your ancestors.

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Kyle

January 26th, 2021 Provo, UT

Free free free. Always and forever. Also the best UI and UX for genealogy sites. Great AI too with the record hints.

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Jake Mecham

January 26th, 2021 Lehi, UT

FamilySearch.org is a really fun website. My friends that have also used their service will login and we can look at our connections and see if we are long lost relatives. It is not just informative, but a lot of fun!

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murfday

January 26th, 2021 College Station, TX

I get weekly emails with very interesting facts about my ancestors. It peeks my interest so I often click on the email to explore more. I like that you can collaborate with others.

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Alexis Hirschi

January 25th, 2021 Idaho Falls, ID

It's really easy to use and very helpful. I've been using it to do indexing and I never have a problem with it.

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Megan Roper

January 25th, 2021 Pleasant Grove, UT DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Fantastic place to link up with ancestors! I was able to quickly find my parents and then my chart populated from there. Love this site.

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Blake Hirschi

January 25th, 2021 Salt Lake City, UT

Being a part of this genealogy community at familysearch.org has been life changing. Such a great way to connect to your past and grow closer to your living relatives! I have been able to add records to many of my deceased grandparents and its been very rewarding.

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Wendy Hunter

January 25th, 2021 Riverton, UT

FamilySearch.org is really easy to navigate and has helped me in my family history quest. It would be the first site I would recommend to someone who is looking for long, lost ancestors!

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Landon Badoni

January 25th, 2021 Montgomery, TX

Family Search has an incredibly diverse database that is ever expanding. They have a fantastic checks and balances system that is peer reviewed and allows people to transcribe old documents into digital form. I definitely recommend using Family Search for genealogy!