Help Preserve Records – 4 Pennies At a Time

Naomi Skeen, death record
“Utah Death Certificates, 1904-1964,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 4 March 2016), > image 1 of 1; citing series 81448; Utah State Archives Research Center, Salt Lake City, Utah.

That image is the death record for my great grandmother Naomi Skeen.  She’s the smart one who saved the divinity until her kiddos were craving a treat.

That image is available for free on FamilySearch.

Did you know that FamilySearch relies on LDS missionaries to volunteer their time and go to places all over the world to digitize records?  Those missionaries pay their own way but the equipment is provided by the church.  The church is allocating resources in an effort to preserve as many records as they can, as quickly as then can.

But, things happen.  Like natural disasters.  Sometimes records are destroyed before they are digitized.  The good news is that we can help!

LDS Philanthropies has various charities set up that meet different purposes.  Among those is the opportunity to donate directly to FamilySearch.  Ten cents saves three records – so my title is actually a little high.  That’s 30 records saved for every dollar donated.

One camera kit costs about $7,000.  Each new camera kit allows another set of missionaries to digitize away.  The LDS church has no trouble finding volunteers to serve missions.  So… more cameras, more missionaries, more records being saved.

Interested in donating a buck or two?  Click on over or call (801)356-5300 and reference Family Search acct #30-020-070.

Interested in a few more details?

Here is a list created by some of the folks at LDS Philanthropies:

  • The Church is literally racing against time as it tries to help gather and preserve the world’s genealogical records.
  • Historical records showing proof of life are disappearing at an alarming rate.
  • Records of our ancestors are subject to storage issues, decay, and natural disasters.
  • Last year’s typhoon in the Philippines destroyed millions of records in the Catholic
    diocese record archive.
  • Census records in India are destroyed every ten years.
  • The mass move to digital record keeping has nations throwing out handwritten records faster than ever.
  • Only 12 percent of the world’s top genealogical records are digitized and preserved,
    leaving the rest at risk of destruction or loss.
  • At current rates it will take 124 years to capture the top-tier records.
  • Governments are asking FamilySearch for help in preserving their records at three times the rate FamilySearch and its crews can capture.
  • Donations to FamilySearch go directly to the Church’s records-capture project.
  • 10 cents saves three records. That’s 30 records for every dollar donated. And that’s up to 30 people found. Imagine the impact of a $10,000 donation—that’s 300,000 people (the population of Cincinnati, Ohio) who will be forever grateful for your generosity.
  • FamilySearch is also helping loved ones find each other while they’re still alive. See how Mandy Phillips used the Church’s indexing program to reunite with grandparents she had not seen in 20 years. Click here to see her inspiring story.


2 thoughts on “Help Preserve Records – 4 Pennies At a Time”

    1. It’s pretty incredible. There are so many wonderful charitable organizations in the world for people to donate to but this one really speaks to me. 4¢ to save a piece of someone’s story is pretty remarkable.

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