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.

 

Rank Chart
Price
Records
Our Score
#1
$19.99-$49.99
Over 17 billion
9.4
#2
Free
Over 4 billion
8.6
#3
$9.95
Over 6.9 billion
8.4

The Good

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

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.

Are there any inaccuracies in this review? We take our accuracy very seriously and would love your feedback. Give feedback here.

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43 FamilySearch.org Reviews

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  1. User Score

    0

    December 1st, 2015 Mobile, AL

    This is so bad!!!!! I cannot delete a certain person who by the way I did not add from my tree, nor can I make another tree or delete my current tree!!!!! Please fix until then I’m giving a zero out of 2 million 120 thousand 14

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    4 1

  2. User Score

    5

    November 20th, 2015 Ririe, ID

    http://www.familysearch.com is a wonderful website. But very frustrating at times. You have to know about Pandora Hope Chest… try to understand how to download it and make it work. You also have to pay for it. I would think more people would enjoy doing more family history if the website its self had those tools to search for baptisms and confirmations that need to be done, instead of scrolling through tons of names. Awesome program though!

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    1

  3. User Score

    4

    August 22nd, 2015

    Probably the best site for research, but the worst for building an on-line tree. The good bit is the IGI (International Genealogical Index), a database based on microfilmed records from all over the world. The bad bit is its attempt to build a world tree. The site encourages you to create your family tree with them, but your tree is not yours! Anyone can modify it with accurate or completely inaccurate information, trees are even open to vandalism. Trying to keep your tree the way you want it is an impossible task. Another word of warning; anything you add to your tree cannot be removed and is visible to anyone visiting the site (apart from items attached to individuals entered as living). Beware too of information added by LDS members, a good deal of this is speculation with no basis in fact. So, a great site for reserch (with a little caution), but one to be avoided for family tree building!

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  4. User Score

    9

    July 31st, 2015 Woods Cross, UT

    I love and do work on my genealogy using FamilySearch.org several timers every week! It still has some glitches but over all it is very user friendly and the best out of all the other cites for genealogy.

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  5. User Score

    6

    July 30th, 2015 Willmar, MN

    I love the fact that family history is free but I always forget my passord and username. My problem, not yours.

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    2

  6. User Score

    8

    July 28th, 2015 Bellevue, NE

    When adding a GEDCOM file to FamilySearch, each entry had to be verified and I had many. Was a lot of work.

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    2 1

  7. User Score

    10

    July 27th, 2015 Salt Lake City, UT

    Familysearch is my go-to site for all things family history. I love that I can add sources, edit information that is incorrect and add my reasons for doing so, carefully merge duplicate individuals, and add or see photos and memories that others have added. Familysearch also allows me to search their extensive database of historical records which tireless volunteers have indexed. The beauty of familysearch is that family members all over the world who have access to the internet can read information and feel connected to our family! While in the Philippines my son would frequently read stories about his ancestors that gave him strength and courage. I access familysearch almost daily and LOVE it.

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  8. User Score

    10

    July 27th, 2015 Saint George, UT

    I love familysearch.org. Some have complained about mistakes in their trees. It is usually fairly easy to correct the mistake and add documentation to prove what has been corrected. This seems to work very well.

    The search engine is excellent although it would be nice to have a feature to update information in my tree when a record is attached. Overall, I think it is a marvelous site which continually gets better. Kudos!

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    1

  9. User Score

    6

    July 26th, 2015 Concord, MA

    I find the ability of others to add incorrect info to my tree areal issue with other site only the creator can change.My ggf never cam to this country but someone added a headstone and date of 1945 .Also I do not want to remember my ggp by their headstones but so one went in and added all their headstones pics. I have found the site useful just like to be able it to be MY tree Let me decide who can add to it.

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    6

  10. User Score

    10

    July 23rd, 2015 San Antonio, TX

    used for years it seems to get better every year

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    1

  11. User Score

    10

    July 21st, 2015 May, TX

    this is a great tool for genealogist from beginners to pro.

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    1

  12. User Score

    4

    July 21st, 2015 Rowlett, TX

    When entering my info this site put in my great grand-father with incorrect info (first and last name the only correct things) without giving me a chance to accept or edit anything. I don’t trust them.

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    5

  13. User Score

    7

    July 19th, 2015 North Las Vegas, NV

    love it use it

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    2

  14. User Score

    6

    July 18th, 2015 Akron, OH

    Your site is well-organized. There needs to be way of telling which John Smith are talking about-perhaps birthyear after name? There were a couple time when instead of 20 yrs for generation were twice as many. Even in lg fams unlikely.. I know US too big for local history, but if same property went from county A to county B in 1840, needs to be way for reader to put that in as aside. Thank you!

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  15. User Score

    10

    July 17th, 2015 Riverside, CT

    I love this site, I’m using it for years, and is always getting better. I completed 5 generations, just with the free information that FamilySearch provide. I’m from Chile and I can find everything in my own language, and organize it in English or any language I want. I can download documents that contains my great-grandfather signature. I got happier when I found that now there is a Family Search application to add to my smart phone and tablet, using my own account, so I can go with my genealogy everywhere. This is perfect when you are in family reunions and you get more family information that you can add. Also take family pictures and add them to your family tree.

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    2

  16. User Score

    9

    July 16th, 2015 Meadville, MS

    Love their world tree

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    1

  17. User Score

    10

    July 16th, 2015 Spring, TX

    I love this sight, even for beginners it is easily used.
    Thank you
    Louise adamson

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  18. User Score

    6

    July 15th, 2015 Conroe, TX

    I use Family Search, but I’ve never quite mastered the voluminous information on the site. And I like to do “quick” searches, so the Family Search agenda with its huge lists of people with the same names and disregarding my “dates” and “places” for my search person don’t always help me find what I’m looking for.
    I prefer to use Google. Google narrows the search down to closer matches.

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  19. User Score

    10

    July 15th, 2015 Inwood, WV

    I use Family Search all the time. I like the site and have told several others about it. I have found alot of data about my family. I am thankful for this site.

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  20. User Score

    6

    July 14th, 2015 Salt Lake City, UT

    This was the very first genealogy search site I used. This was back in the early 90’s. I really liked using it, but eventually moved to using ancestry.com more. I have always thought this site was easy to use. I found out several months ago that the international info features were no longer there unless a fee was paid. I also don’t like that we cannot see info that might be helpful just because we are not LDS.

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    2