How to Find Free Family Records on FamilySearch

You probably know that FamilySearch makes millions of family history records available on microfilm that can be ordered online and viewed at our Family History Center.

But did you know that these microfilms are being digitized and that there are now many digital images of records from across the world online to search or browse for free?

Here’s how to explore them:

  1. Go to

2. Roll your mouse over the word “Search” and choose “Records.”

Record Search

3. You could search from this screen, but don’t do that yet. Scroll down and look for the map that’s titled “Research by Location.”


4. Click on a part of the world where your ancestors lived. As an example, I clicked the United States and selected California.

California5. Once again, you could search, but don’t do that now. Instead, scroll down and click on “Show All 70 Collections.”

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6. Now scroll through that list to see what’s available. Here¬†are some examples¬†of what you might find:

  • California, County Birth and Death Records, 1800-1994
  • England and Wales Birth Registration Index, 1837-2008
  • Czech Republic Civil Registers, 1874-1937
  • Germany, Prussia, Pomerania, Church Book Indexes, 1600-1900
  • Italy, Catania, Caltagirone, Civil Registration (Tribunale), 1861-1941

If you find records that looks relevant to your search, click through. If there’s a search box, try it! If not, you can browse the images.

Want to learn some of the finer points of accessing the digital records available on FamilySearch? Stop by the Family History Center. We’d be happy to give you some tips.