You may not be searching all the records at FamilySearch

How do you use FamilySearch for family history research? Do you search from the home screen? Do you use the newer filtering search they’ve implemented? Have you ever browsed through or search their list of collections? FamilySearch has over 2 billion names in their indexed collections, but did you know that they also make unindexed record images available to the public? They’re encouraging users to explore these collections, which they estimate contain over 300 million names, as part of their research. These records are part of the FamilySearch online indexing project that have not yet been indexed. Rather than hold these images back, they’ve chosen to make them available to users of the FamilySearch site.

When you navigate to the home page, look below the main search fields at the top of the page, next to the world map it says ‘Browse by Collection”. At the bottom of this list you can click on “All Record Collections”. This displays a list of all of the collections available at FamilySearch. You can narrow it down by location, for instance, Australia. The records for that location only will then be displayed. As you review the results, take notice of the first column.

genealogy family history research

Click on 'Browse Images' to start your search

Where a number is displayed, this means that the collection has been indexed.  However, where ‘Browse Images’ is displayed, you can click the link to view images from an unindexed collection.  This is essentially, like going to a family history center and viewing microfilm, but you get to do it from the comfort of home. To view the images you must click on the ‘Browse Images’ link. Clicking on the name of the database, will send you to a new page that describes the collection. There’s a lot of potential to find new names by using all the resources available.


About Kevin

I'm a husband, father of 4, amateur genealogist, technophile, homeschooler, gardener, and boy scout leader.
This entry was posted in Immigration Records, Military Records, U.S. Census, Vital Records and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to You may not be searching all the records at FamilySearch

  1. I love to go through the “all collections”, a good way to view what is newly added also. Some of those non indexed record sets have produced family records for me already….with a lot of reading and looking but so worth the effort and I learn as I go through them too. It can only get better!

  2. Hi Kevin, I too, have been utilizing the browsable images on FamilySearch’s website, especially the North Carolina and South Carolina wills and probate records. I have written a couple of blog posts about how invaluable these records are. One thing I do like to point out, however, is that many of these records, especially the NC and SC wills, are transcripts or copies of the original wills that were filed with the courts and I have found some errors, so although they are a good starting point for information, one should also get copies of the originals if they can.

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