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.
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.