Salt Lake City, UT and Springfield, IL, (31 August 2016)—As the Federation of Genealogical Societies’ (FGS) annual conference opens today in Springfield, Illinois, the nonprofit organization is also celebrating its 40th anniversary. FamilySearch International thanks and recognizes FGS for its significant contribution to the family history community and celebrates the success of its major joint projects over the decades and the ways those projects help people seeking their ancestors.
Federation Genealogical Societies president, D. Joshua Taylor, remarked, "In the past 40 years, the Federation has enjoyed a number of partnerships throughout the genealogical community. We look forward to continuing to serve the needs of genealogical societies and are committed to ensuring the preservation and access to records for generations to come."
First, the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Database (CWSS), a successful project that began in 1990 and was completed in 1997, was a joint project sponsored by the National Park Service (NPS) in cooperation with FGS, the National Archives and Records Administration, the Civil War Trust, and FamilySearch International. This searchable online database of participants in the Civil War has about 6.5 million entries.
Preserve the Pensions is an ongoing joint effort to create a digital index of pensions belonging to veterans of the War of 1812. The project aims to digitize 7.2 million historic records that are quickly deteriorating and will be available online for free when the project is complete. Preserve the Pensions relies on donations to fund it, with a generous contribution from Ancestry.com to match every dollar donated. FamilySearch International made the first substantial contribution to the project to help initiate the digitization of the pension records.
The most recent joint project is an ongoing effort to create an online index of participants in the Mexican-American War (1846–1848). This indexing project will involve about 130,000 entries. This project is in conjunction with the National Park Service, specifically, the Palo Alto Battlefield Historic Park located in Brownsville, Texas.
The success of each of these great initiatives is made possible because of FGS’s ability to organize the needed online volunteers and industry resources. When the broader genealogical community works together like that, marvelous things happen,” said David Rencher, FamilySearch International Chief Genealogy Officer.