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Family History site notes 3 billionth hit

The FamilySearch Internet Genealogy Service received its three billionth hit on Saturday, May 13, at 11:45 p.m., less than a year after the site was first launched on May 24, 1999.

Randy Bryson, director of the FamilySearch Internet Genealogy Service, said, "We are delighted the FamilySearch web site has been instrumental in helping so many people discover their heritage. Connecting with the past helps us understand who we are and what we value most. As the wave of enthusiasm for family history research grows, so does the size of our web site."

FamilySearch continues to receive as many as 8 million hits, or computer links, that request some information from an average of 130,000 visitors daily. In less than a year, the Internet site has grown to include more than 640 million names worldwide and now offers free software downloads in many languages of Personal Ancestral File. This is a program that helps users organize their family history records, and is now available in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and German.

The site also provides an international searchable data base known as Pedigree Resource File. The file is growing at the rate of 1.1 million names a month as users submit personal family records to the FamilySearch Internet Genealogy Service. A searchable master index for all Pedigree Resource File submissions was added to the site in February of this year.

As the FamilySearch site nears its one-year anniversary, work is under way to add vital records indexes from Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Mexico, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. The vital records indexes will include birth, christening, death and marriage dates and places, as well as other source reference information.

The Church also operates more than 3,400 Family History Centers worldwide.

On the net: www.familysearch.org