, How I Share, tips, treasures

FamilySearch Book Scanning Service

Title Page - FWE Book
Title Page for a Family Record Book kept by my 2nd great grandfather Frederick William Ellis.

Among the many cool things in the boxes that belonged to my grandmother was a Family Record Book that her grandfather had kept.  It has a bunch of information that I already knew but it was handwritten by my 2nd great grandfather.  Such a treasure!  And while I say that it is information that I already knew, I think the important thing here is that he actually knew many of these people personally so his record will contain hidden gems that may help answer questions.

Like most of my genealogy adventures, I try to digitize and share what I find in a way that is useful for my family members.  Only one person can physically possess this book at a time but I certainly don’t want it’s existence to only benefit me.

That’s where FamilySearch comes in to help me out.  They offer a free book scanning service during RootsTech.  So I took my book along to RootsTech and had it scanned for free.  That book is now digitized and available on FamilySearch under the “Search” tab in the “Books” collection.  You can find it here.

If you have a book that is not under copyright, or a book that you own the copyright to, or a book that is under copyright but you get signed permission from the copyright holder, you can take that book to RootsTech and have it scanned.  A very cool service.

Additionally, FamilySearch will accept donations of items like journals, family Bibles, compiled histories and so on.  You can stipulate in your donation that they must scan the item and make it publicly available and they will!  The item will then be stored appropriately and can be viewed in person by family members at the Church Archives building.  This is a great option if you have an old item that is in danger of deterioration or if you have special family items and no one to care for them after you pass.  They have different storage methods including very cold storage that they use to help preserve really old items.  In fact, if your item is stored in one of these cold storage areas you have to make an appointment to view your item well in advance so they can slowly bring it to room temperature for your viewing.

I am so grateful for the many free services FamilySearch offers that help me to make my genealogy work available to my family members in a free and easily searchable way.  This book is a treasure and now it can be treasured in every household that descends from Frederick William Ellis and not just in my home.

Here is one last image from the book.  It’s the family group sheet for Frederick and his wife Susan, written in his own hand.

FWE & SKD family group sheet


Happy Wednesday.  I hope you make an amazing genealogy discovery today!


Note:  I could only find the information for donating items that are relevant to LDS church history.  I know that FamilySearch accepts donations of other items and stores them properly and digitizes them, I just couldn’t find the appropriate link in the time I have…  I’m off to pick up a preschooler.  If you are interested in this info let me know and I will track it down.

16 thoughts on “FamilySearch Book Scanning Service”

    1. I wish you did too! Isn’t it interesting how every genealogist has a completely different set of resources based on location and decisions of family members? I will say though that I had no idea this book existed until I received my Grandma’s boxes. I had asked her many times what she had and she never mentioned it so I wonder if she even knew she had it. She inherited her mother’s genealogy items but by then my Grandma was quite sick and I bet she never had time to go through them.

      1. It’s remarkable that you have this family history of family historians! I have so few things like that—a family bible that belonged to my father’s family with some birth, death, and marriage dates and two or three handwritten trees from my aunt. Everything else I’ve found through research or through cousins!

        1. I understand that. That’s what it’s like on my mom’s side. I do have lots of photos from my great grandparents down because they were photographers but no histories, books, family bibles, or journals. I do have a small handful of treasures from this side but for the most part my experience has been like yours. I have built the tree myself through lots of hard work and some collaboration. My dad’s side though are all LDS. Our church has encouraged record keeping from the beginning. We are taught the value of journals, personal histories, and compiling our genealogy regularly and that is not new. Those teachings have created a genealogy rich history for me on my dad’s side. I’m so grateful. Not all of my ancestors on his side were as prolific as others but I have some cool things from pretty much every line on that side. I feel very blessed. I hope in my own small way I am encouraging my own family and friends to preserve their stories and seek out and share the stories of their ancestors. I know you have a genealogist’s heart so this statement isn’t news to you – I very strongly believe that knowing who we are and where we come from is one of the greatest gifts we can share with our children and grandchildren. Knowing and loving our ancestors is empowering.

          1. I wondered whether preserving family history on an individual level was an aspect of LDS. I know that the Church as an institution works to preserve and find family histories, but I didn’t know if that was also part of individual observance of the faith.

            1. Well, it’s not as serious as say a commandment but it is strongly encouraged and honored as worthwhile for individuals and families to participate in preserving their own history and working on their family history. And you are right, our church as an institution is incredibly involved in preserving genealogy records throughout the world. It’s something I am quite proud of. I think it’s so honorable that the church’s objectives are not limited to people of our faith. I love that they seek to preserve, digitize and then SHARE records so anyone can benefit regardless of their own religious beliefs.

              1. It truly is a gift to the world that the church has collected, digitized, and put on line so many millions of records. For free! Quite remarkable!

  1. Oh, that is lovely! I can’t stand parting with any of my originals even for the time it takes to copy. I only scan them myself because I am so paranoid about it :(.

    1. I can relate. The great thing about the scanning service at RootsTech is that they have a large area set up in the expo hall but it’s in the back corner so not a high traffic area. You check your book in and it stays there. They scan it right there in the expo hall. They text you when they finish and you go pick it up. I am like you, but the set up made me feel as comfortable as I can get. I’m a worrier so total comfort is probably not possible for me ever. 😉

  2. This is such a gift! Having a professional service digitize family records is VERY expensive. I hope your posting reaches many people who will attend a RootTech event.

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