The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced a name change to its Family History Library in Salt Lake City and for thousands of family history centers across the globe on Tuesday morning.
“FamilySearch” reflects the name of the family history tool — familysearch.org — used by the church for years to help people trace their family lineage and get to know their ancestors.
The name change is meant to “better align local centers with FamilySearch’s expanding global brand,” per the FamilySearch news release.
FamilySearch was originally called The Genealogical Society of Utah and started in 1864, per FamilySearch. From that time, it’s grown from microfilm and paper records to a computer-based program — and many more paper records — found in the family history center locations today.
“We are now sharing knowledge and support virtually, making more and more books available online through the FamilySearch Digital Library,” Lynn Turner said when he became the FamilySearch Library director in 2022.
“We will also continue to leverage technology to enhance our in-person experience. As the field of genealogy shifts, we will adapt to help people discover, gather and connect with their ancestors.”
In 2023, the organization posted on Instagram that it plans to release 1 billion new records to help people reconnect with their families, among updates and new features on the platform.
Family history centers span the continents and exist in almost every country, per a map on the website.
All services are free for anyone who wants to know more about their family and genealogy.
“We invite you to visit the FamilySearch Library or a local FamilySearch center to discover your roots and how your ancestors have shaped you,” The Church of Jesus Christ said. “You’ll find personalized help and access to technology and exclusive records.”