SALT LAKE CITY — FamilySearch International has reached a new milestone.
The world’s largest genealogical website recently announced that it has surpassed 8 billion searchable names in its historical records collection.
The achievement was made possible thanks to online volunteers, technology and partnerships with other organizations.
David Rencher, FamilySearch’s chief genealogical officer, acknowledged the accomplishment but noted it’s the “personal family connections that matter most.”
“With each new record, there’s the possibility to find a missing link in the family tree,” Rencher said in a statement. “And that is soul-satisfying.”
FamilySearch says it adds more than 1 million new searchable records to its website each day. About 7 billion of the 8 billion names, including records from almost every country in the world, have been added in the past decade alone. Rencher said the organization’s goal is to connect every family with their ancestors.
“This milestone is just the tip of the iceberg,” Rencher said. “FamilySearch won’t quit until we’ve accounted for everyone possible from the world’s available records. With over 8 billion searchable names and growing, the odds of growing the branches of your family tree each time you visit keep getting better all the time.”
FamilySearch is a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
FamilySearch’s announcement of 8 billion records comes less than a month after it announced that RootsTech 2021, the largest annual family history conference in the world, will be a free, virtual event Feb. 25-27.
Steve Rockwood, FamilySearch CEO, said the global pandemic presented the opportunity to offer RootsTech to a broader audience worldwide.
“A virtual event also allows us to expand our planning to truly make this a global celebration of family and connection,” Rockwood said in a statement.
FamilySearch celebrated its 125th anniversary in November 2019.
“From a small, humble beginning in an upstairs room with 190 donated books 125 years ago, we today are moving forward at an ever accelerating pace,” Elder Kevin S. Hamilton, a General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and executive director of the church’s Family History Department, said on that occasion.
“We are blessed to have been able to stand on the shoulders of the great ones, those that have the vision, those that brought this to the point where we’re at today. And we have the great blessing now to stand on their shoulders and to move forward to build this department, to build this technology, to build this database, to build this family tree of God’s human family.”