News Release

A New FamilySearch Tool Will Aid Genealogical Discovery

Records will be more searchable

(For Non-Muslim Use Only)

Finding your ancestors will soon be easier thanks to FamilySearch’s handwriting recognition technology and a new online volunteer experience called “Get Involved,” set to release at RootsTech 2022 (March 3–5).


In 2021, FamilySearch completed the microfilm digitization initiative. Those digital images contain names and information for billions of our ancestors around the world. Searching for ancestor names has been time-consuming, requiring users to scroll through images and read handwritten records.

FamilySearch’s handwriting recognition technology quickly scans handwritten historical documents to generate an index of names and other information from the digitized images. Through “Get Involved,” online volunteers (via mobile device or laptop) will look at the indexed information and make needed changes. The result will be a highly accurate index of names available for free at

“Get Involved” users can review records that may have personal significance to their family tree to help them find their own ancestors. In future versions of the tool, invitations will be sent to a FamilySearch patron or volunteer when such a document needs to be reviewed.


The current indexing tool will continue to focus on types of records not suitable for the handwriting recognition artificial intelligence technology. Volunteers will have the option to participate using whichever experience best suits their needs and interests.

Since 2007, FamilySearch volunteers have indexed more than 2 billion names. In 2021, volunteers helped review more than 100 million handwritten records in Spanish. This allowed FamilySearch to reach 10 billion searchable names. With the help of “Get Involved,” the 11 billion milestone is not far distant.

How can I participate?

Visit The first projects available in English will be refining United States Wills and Deeds collections from almost all 50 states. In early April, 2022, the 1950 U.S. Census will be added.

Projects are also available in Spanish from 22 Latin American countries. Italian and Portuguese projects will be available later this year.

FamilySearch International is the largest genealogical organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources and services each month to learn more about their family history.

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