WOONSOCKET, R.I. – The American-French Genealogical Society (AFGS) announced today it is the newest Family History Center affiliate library. The designation means Society members and the public will have greater and more convenient access to the wealth of genealogical resources available through Family History Library.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [LDS] is the world’s largest repository of genealogical records and manages the famous Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. It has amassed billions of birth, marriage, death, census, land, and court records of genealogical significance from over 130 countries.
Family History Library is extending access to its collection by circulating microfilms of historic records through select affiliate libraries. The American-French Genealogical Society is now one of those libraries. It is a priceless resource for area residents interested in discovering their family history.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for AFGS members and the general public,” said Janice Burkhart, AFGS president and librarian. “When added to the massive holdings already available at our research center, the potential for successful and accurate genealogical research is outstanding.”
The LDS has over 200 camera teams archiving historic records in 45 countries on any given day. These records are then circulated to the public through Family History Centers and affiliates worldwide, like the American-French Genealogical Society.
For example, The LDS has filmed over 60 percent of the civil registrations (birth, marriage and death records) of Italy. Anyone with Italian ancestry may be able to extend their Italian research by conveniently using the Family History Library films through AFGS.
“Less than five percent of the world’s genealogical records are available online, and most family history researchers cannot afford to travel to an archive nationally or worldwide to find the historical records they are seeking,” said Paul Nauta, FamilySearch public affairs manager. “If The LDS has filmed the records they need, then they only need travel to AFGS to view them.”
There is a nominal $5.50 fee to order a microfilm. Once the film arrives, the member or patron uses the microfilm reader at the AFGS to view it. The AFGS staff can help patrons see what films are available, place film orders, and answer research questions. They also can search the Family History Library catalog online at FamilySearch.org to see what records are available to order through the AFGS library.
For more information about AFGS visit the website at afgs.org. To learn more about ordering LDS microfilms, contact Fran Tivey by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the library at (401) 765-6141.