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News Release —  4 February 2014

Church's FamilySearch.org Works to Put World’s Historical Records Online in One Generation

FamilySearch.org teams with major genealogy companies to index billions of records

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Salt Lake City — 

The largest family history conference in the U.S. starts this week (5-8 February) in Salt Lake City. RootsTech 2014 offers explanation and application through presentations and activities, helping people of all ages discover and share family information through technology.

FamilySearch.org cosponsors the worldwide family history event and will feature information about a monumental collaborative effort to make available online 5.3 billion historic records from around the world, such as birth, death and census records.

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FamilySearch.org, with the help of countless volunteers, has already archived, preserved and made available online through indexing more than three billion names, a process that has taken 100 years to accomplish. To digitize and index 5.3 billion more names would take FamilySearch volunteer indexers up to 300 years to complete at the current rate.

“That means you and me and the next 10 generations of our posterity would not live to personally benefit from them,” said FamilySearch CEO Dennis Brimhall. “We can do significantly better by working together with other organizations and as a community.”

Working with Ancestry.com, findmypast and MyHeritage, indexing those names can be accurately recorded in a generation, or 20 to 30 years.
Gathering such information across the world’s records and employing the world’s technological capabilities could eventually document a significant portion of the 28 billion people who have populated the earth since A.D. 1500.

More details on how this can be accomplished will be presented by FamilySearch.org at RootsTech 2014.

Now in its fourth year, the family history technology conference will also feature over 200 courses, notable guest presenters and approximately 11,000 participants from 46 states and 21 countries, with another 20,000 joining remotely online at rootstech.org. The event runs 5-8 February 2014 and will be held in the Salt Palace Convention Center.

In addition, the Innovator Summit held on Wednesday, 5 February 2014, focuses on the rapidly expanding technology related to family history research activities and is primarily available to software developers, entrepreneurs and technology business leaders.

Registration information is available at rootstech.org. Single-day or all-conference passes are available, including passes for a special Family Discovery Day on 8 February.

Dan Martinez, conference director, defines the innovative gathering as a “creative national forum for development of family history-related technology. The conference links such technology with prospective end users in an effort to promote innovative consumer participation.”

Partnering technology with exploration is a natural in today’s sophisticated family history world. Discovering individual stories, both histories of ancestors or contemporary tales, has become a simple task with the increasing capabilities of technological advances. The ability to record and share such stories and family memories is expanding as websites, apps, blogs and social media communications proliferate.

The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, keynotes the conference. Recognized as one of the country’s top 25 bloggers, Drummond also authors cookbooks and hosts a television show.
“I love sharing stories about my family and my experiences on the ranch,” the well-known author states, “so I’m really excited to be part of RootsTech this year. It’s all about ways to share family stories and strengthen family communications.”

Other featured speakers include Stephanie Nielsen, who maintains a popular family blog, NieNieDialogues; Dr. Spencer Wells, director of the National Geographic genographic project; Todd Hansen, host of the Emmy Award-winning television show Story Trek; Anneleis van den Bell, CEO of DC Thomson Family History and host of over 1.8 billion genealogical records across several Internet brands; and Judy Russell, a certified genealogist and attorney who writes the Legal Genealogist blog.

Chris Dancy, known as the “world’s most quantified man” and chief technology officer at BMC Software, will keynote the Innovator Summit.

Style Guide Note: When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online style guide.

 
 
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