Great News! The West Oaks Branch Library and Genealogy Center Is Now A FamilySearch Affiliate Library!  Customers Are Now Able to Gain Access to More Genealogical Digital Microfilm Data When Using FamilySearch at Our West Oaks Branch Location. 

What does this mean?

FamilySearch is the world’s largest repository of free genealogical records.   It has amassed billions of birth, marriage, death, census, land, court, and other records of genealogical significance from more than 130 countries.  Some of these records can only be viewed at a FamilySearch Affiliate Library.

Now at the West Oaks Branch Library and Genealogy Center, customers doing family history research can freely view those digitized records and books at www.familysearch.org that are restricted to access at a Family History Center or FamilySearch Affiliate Library.  Researchers cannot access these records from home.  The new designation means library customers will have greater and more convenient access to a wealth of genealogical resources.

Users of FamilySearch from within our West Oaks library location simply need to log-in to FamilySearch with their FamilySearch Username and Password and then start using the FamilySearch website.  You don’t have a Username/Password with FamilySearch?  No problem.  Just sign up for a free Username with FamilySearch directly at their website at www.familysearch.org.  Then use our FamilySearch / EPOCH library computer while in our West Oaks location.

The additional data is especially noticeable when using the FamilySearch online catalog and looking for geographic locations where your ancestors may have lived.  In most cases, more of those digital data films are available to you from within our library than if you did the same geographic search from home.  For example, many of the civil records of Italy have been microfilmed and digitized for access on familysearch.org.  However, many of these can only be viewed within an Affiliate Library, such as the Civil registration (stato civile) of births, marriages, and deaths within the custody of the State Archive of Arezzo (archivio di Stato di Arezzo) from 1314 to 1934, and many more.

It’s as simple as:

  • Visit the West Oaks Branch Library and Genealogy Center
  • Use our FamilySearch / EPOCH library computer.
  • Go to the FamilySearch website at familysearch.org and sign in with your FamilySearch Username and Password
  • Search for your ancestors among the FamilySearch databases and have access to all materials available to an Affiliate Library!

Here is a review of the levels of content access offered by FamilySearch. West Oaks is a FamilySearch affiliate library and thus has access to greater content than is available to general users. Here are the levels of permissions and how you can access them:

  • Digitized content that is freely available to all. Everyone can access this material, from anywhere online.
  • Digitized content that requires a FamilySearch login. This content is still available from anywhere, but users need to log in to FamilySearch. Researchers use/create their own free accounts.
  • Digitized content that is only available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake, at Family History Centers (around the world), or at affiliate libraries, such as West Oaks.
  • Digitized content that is only available to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and/or only available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. This content is usually represented by a camera icon with a key icon above it and is not accessible at West Oaks.

Remember, as well, that not all the content that was on microfilms has been digitized yet, and some material won’t be digitized due to arrangements between FamilySearch and the records’ custodians. FamilySearch continues to digitize its microfilm at a rapid pace and expects to meet its target date of 2020 to complete digitization of all materials that they can.

Feel free to contact us with questions and for assistance in using FamilySearch and/or for researching your families in general.  West Oaks Branch Library and Genealogy Center, 1821 E. Silver Star Rd., Ocoee, FL 34761, genealogy@ocls.info / 407-835-7651 (leave a voicemail).