PROVO, UT, May 13, 2008 — FamilySearch recently announced an inaugural project in concert with FamilyLink.com, Inc., to digitize and index a valuable German genealogy collection containing over 3.5 million names from the period of 1650-1875.
The Brenner Collection contains 3.5 million names on more than 750 rolls of microfilm, representing between 900,000 and 1.5 million images. A final count will be determined once all of the records have been indexed. The complete Brenner Collection database is scheduled to be online at WorldVitalRecords.com by the end of this year, although segments of the database will be launched in the interim.
“The genealogy market for German records is hungry for online data. FamilyLink.com was selected for this project because of the company’s focus on international vital record sets,” said Paul Nauta, Manager of Public Affairs, FamilySearch.
The FamilySearch Records Access Program (RAP), announced in 2007, works with record custodians and companies to preserve and publish the world’s genealogical records faster, more effectively, and efficiently. Under the RAP agreement for the Brenner Collection, FamilySearch will digitize the records, and FamilyLink.com will create the indexes. When completed, the index will be available for free at FamilySearch.org and WorldVitalRecords.com. Access to the images will be free to FamilySearch members and WorldVitalRecords.com subscribers.
“This is our first project with FamilySearch, and we are excited to collaborate with them,” said Jonathan Burton, COO, FamilyLink.com, Inc. “This database will be an invaluable part of our growing German collection. Certainly it will be priceless to the descendants worldwide of the families listed in these records.”
The Brenner Collection was discovered in a Bavarian barn and includes data from approximately 97 parishes primarily within the vicinity of Ansbach, and also other places in Mittelfranken, Bavaria.
“I love that that these German records have found a home on our site,” said Paul Allen, CEO, FamilyLink.com, Inc. “This collection will be a highlight of the German records coming soon on our site, and will provide important links to information for those with German ancestry.”
Using the extracts found in the Brenner Collection is comparable to searching the original parish registers, with the exception that these records have been alphabetized and arranged in families by FamilySearch over a ten-year period.
“The Brenner Collection is a fabulous collection because you receive information on such a large section of the population. No other microfilm collection exists of this material,” said Warren Bittner, German collection management specialist for FamilySearch. “You would have to go from village to village to receive the same information that you can now find in one place.”