Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the FamilySearch Platform?
- Who has access to the Family Tree?
- Will FamilySearch promote my app?
- What protocol does the API implement?
- Why is the platform API built on Hypermedia?
- Do I have to follow the Hypermedia principles?
- What is GEDCOM X?
- How does GEDCOM X relate to the FamilySearch API?
- What genealogy developer user groups can I join?
What is the FamilySearch API?
FamilySearch offers a technical platform for developers to access the FamilySearch Family Tree and related databases for building compelling applications and family history experiences. Read more...
Who has access to the Family Tree?
The FamilySearch Family Tree is a lineage-linked world family tree developed by FamilySearch, which is a nonprofit organization sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. All developers who agree to licensing and usage terms are invited to access this data using our API, regardless of religious affiliation.
Will FamilySearch promote my app?
FamilySearch has a products listing for end users to see what apps and services are available that use the API. Qualified applications will be hosted here and promoted in other ways as directed by our marketing organization. We value our third party partners and affiliates and believe that their success contributes to our success.
What protocol does the FamilySearch platform implement?
The FamilySearch platform is designed to conform to RESTful architectural principles, including the principle of Hypermedia. The state of the application is being driven by hypermedia. Many online resources are available on the topic of Hypermedia, and you can also learn more about how it applies to the API here.
Why is the API built on Hypermedia?
Hypermedia is built into the API to make it easier to navigate programmatically and react to changes. This offers great flexibility and stability for us and our partners and developer community.
Do I have to follow the Hypermedia principles?
No. While we recommend a sound architecture, we can’t prevent you from hard-coding URLs and implementing the API how you see fit for your product.
What is GEDCOM X?
GEDCOM X is a series of specifications for an open data model and an open serialization format to support genealogical data communications. These specifications address a new file format as well as data models and protocols for data exchange between both online and offline systems. Learn more...
How does GEDCOM X relate to the FamilySearch API?
The FamilySearch API is built on these specifications. Learn more...
What genealogy developer user groups can I join?
FamilySearch encourages participation in any community where technologists are working on family history solutions. Here are two groups you might find useful:
- RootsDev: Created by members of the FamilySearch developer network as a place for developers to collaborate on genealogy issues that aren’t specific to FamilySearch.
- FHISO: An international organization created to develop standards for the digital representation and sharing of family history and genealogical information.
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