FamilySearch observes 10 years of online indexing by volunteers

FamilySearch International, the Church’s internet family history service, is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its web-based, volunteer-driven indexing initiatve, which began in 2006.

The observance is in conjunction with International Volunteer Day on Dec. 5.

The initiative, whereby volunteers around the world, using their personal computers, go online and extract names from historical records preserved over the years by the Church, is the largest undertaking of its kind. The indexed records feed the FamilySearch database, from which users can construct their own family trees.

As a thank you to indexers and the millions of people who have found family documents from their efforts, FamilySearch is sharing a collection of free downloadable “I HEART Families” images for use on social media, or as cell phone and computer wallpaper.

Since the call went out for volunteers in 2006, over 1.2 million volunteers have joined the cause. Collectively, they have examined more than 1.5 billion images of historical records and made over 5 billion ancestral names searchable on line for people researching their family trees.