For anyone who uses the FamilySearch database, you may have noticed a major change is coming - we are soon going to have to sign in to use the site.
Many of us who use the site regularly are already signing in - to use some of the extra features or create an online tree signing in has been necessary for a while now. For others this is a new development. It is worth noting that sign in requirements are minimal - name, username, a password you select, an email address or phone number in case you lose your password and need to get back into your account, a little bit of demographic data (male or female, country of residence, birthdate and whether you’re a Church member, since Church members have different needs from the website), a security captcha code to make sure you’re not a robot and your agreement to the terms and conditions and privacy policies of the website, and you’re in. There is the facility to remember your login details on your PC or device, so overall it is a very quick process.
So why does FamilySearch require logins now? Firstly, FamilySearch needs to be accountable to its records partners — the towns, counties/states and other repositories that made the records available for filming in the first place. Many of those records partners want to know that the data is being offered in a safe and secure online environment. The second reason is because there’s more that can be made available on a personalized basis if you use some of the other features of the website and log in first. You can now built a free online family tree and link in all the records you find, much as you can on Ancestry and other subscription databases. It is worth remembering that all the wonderful content of the FamilySearch site is still free.
So take a look at all the FamilySearch site has to offer, and don't be put off by the new sign-in requirement. They have put in a massive amount of effort in creating the site and is has a great deal to offer those if us researching our families. And did I mention the word FREE!