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Find Your famioy - Digitizing the Granite Mountain Records Vault

Article Date: 
5 May, 2011 (All day)


 FamilySearch has been regularly releasing new digital collections.  Over the past year FamilySearch has released new record collections nearly each week.  This last week they announced a milestone, more than 600 collections.  FamilySearch released the following information:

The latest additions to FamilySearch’s online collection of free historic record collections pushes it to 600! That’s right, 600 free, original source record collections online from all over the world. The tally of insomniacs will certainly expand as the numbers of family history researchers enjoy the latest updates. This week there are new international records from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, France, Italy, Jamaica, Mexico, Peru, Poland, and Spain. Now take a seat while the list of updates for the U.S. collections are noted—California, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington State, Wisconsin, and the Virgin Islands. Whew! See the table below for details. You can search all of the record collections now for free at

If you are enjoying the steady stream of free records added weekly, please consider “giving back” as a FamilySearch volunteer. You can start and stop volunteering at any time. Find out more at

FamilySearch has more than 4 billion (yes, billion) images in the Granite Mountain Records Vault.  This collection has taken hundreds of thousands of man hours over more than eighty years to gather.  They expect to make the bulk of the collection available digitally within the next decade.  By the end of this year the FamilySearch collection will likely have more images that any other site.  

Many individuals know of the search capabilities of FamilySearch to find records that have been indexed so that each name mentioned in a record can be found.  Many, however, do not know that FamilySearch has released many collections that have not been indexed.  The experience is somewhat like using a digital microfilm, however it is better organized.  The images are grouped logically (by time frame, parish, state, county, or whatever is the best fit for the collection) and the user accessing the collections navigates to a small group of images based on the organization.

To find this feature just go to, scroll down and click on the link that says, “All Record Collections.”  This will display a list of all collections on FamilySearch.  Look for records in the geography in which you are searching and find those that say, “Browse Images”.  These records can only be accessed by browsing the images.  It is not as simple as searching for names, but it can be done anytime from anywhere with Internet access.  New records are added regularly so check back if the records for which you are searching are not yet digitized.  What a great time to be in family history.  I look forward to the day when everything a do in genealogy can be done in my pajamas, on my time frame, from wherever it is convenient to me.