Becoming a Partner
Benefits of Partnering
Association with FamilySearch
FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch has been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. FamilySearch is a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org or through over 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.
FamilySearch is developing a technical platform to facilitate the development of more innovative and collaborative software products that leverage genealogical data and technical services. The purpose of the platform is to increases the number of contributors and relevant online conclusions, historical records, and media available to identify ancestors and gather artifacts that assist in telling their stories. This platform includes many large searchable databases, recommended standards and best practices, Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), helpful support, training, websites, and sample code.
FamilySearch is developing a new API based upon the evolving Gedcom X specification which includes models for Conclusions, Source Metadata, Contributor Metadata, large field-based Record Extraction Model, and definition for RESTful Web Services. This platform has endpoints based on the Gedcom X specification and other important endpoints that will facilitate cooperation across multiple vendors products by using common interfaces for discussions, watch and notify, sharing sources, and other future collalboration tools.
Vendors of certified features will be licensed to use the "FamilySearch Certified" Logo on the product packaging, website, and marketing literature. Additionally, vendors can use the "FamilySearch Certified" Logo as a click-thru graphic for a designated page on the FamilySearch website where products will be listed with certified features. FamilySearch will promote Partners that are certified through its website, conferences, and other marketing communications. A "FamilySearch Certified Software Vendor" is an organization with at least one certified application or utility.
Web Site Marketing
FamilySearch will list valuable products for the industry on their products page, giving special recognitions for certified Tree Access, Tree Connect, and Tree Share products. All products are easily browse by platform and selectable for detail descriptions, sample screens, and links directly to the vendors website. Mentions of these products show up in the support knowledge-base, FamilySearch wiki, and the developers website.
Family History Centers
Vendors of certified Tree Share and other popular products, by invitation, can agree to provide free products to the machines in the Family History Centers through a special worldwide distribution. This is one of the best ways to get exposure for Tree Share products.
FamilySearch has regular announcements, newsletters, and blog postings about new and updater products for FamilySearch employees, directors of Family History Centers, Family History Consultants, and users of FamilySearch.org that have opted in for email communications.
RootsTech is the largest genealogy conference in the United States. Over 4000 attendees came in 2012. FamilySearch is preparing to invite families and youth to increase the attendance in 2013. When Familysearch adds streaming capabilities to hundreds of Latter-day Saint meeting houses and Family History Centers throughout the country, over 40,000 viewers are expected. RootsTech is the best place to showcase certified products as an exhibitor or through classes, presentations, and unconferencing sessions. Handouts and speakers are often available from FamilySearch at all regional conferences to promote third-party products throughout the year.
Vendors of certified products can display the "FamilySearch Certified" logo on their product, website, and marketing material. FamilySearch promotes the value of certification through this logo, also encouraging the public to consider certified products first as they have been tested for quality and compliance with FamilySearch certification requirements. These logos, when placed on websites, will link directly to the FamilySearch products page so that the customer can verify the certification status.
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.
Didn't find an answer to your question? Please see our support section for forums and more information.
How to Get Started
To become a development partner with FamilySearch, follow the steps outlined in our Getting Started Overview.
- API License Agreement (pdf)
- Certified Web Services Agreement (pdf)
- FamilySearch Center Affiliate Agreement (pdf)
- FamilySearch Trademark and Logo Guidelines (pdf)
Forms and Applications
- App Certification Application (MS Word Doc)
- Utility Certification Application (MS Word Doc)
- App Key Request and Use Agreement (MS Word Doc)
Logos and Artwork
FamilySearch Logo (available in color postscript format, JPG format, or PNG format, and gray PNG format)
FamilySearch Certified Logo (available in color postscript format or PNG format, black PNG format, and brown PNG format)
Tree Icons (available in large color PNG format and medium/small PNG formats in colors shown)
The Tree icons that can be used within a mobile, desktop, or web applications. These icons are not to replace the use of the FamilySearch Logo nor the FamilySearch Certified Logo. They are only to be used for programmatic functions within the applications including making calls to the FamilySearch API including authentication. They are not to be used as Favicons or Links to www.familysearch.org, new.familysearch.org, or any other pages on a FamilySearch website. The tree on these icons cannot be put on buttons with other words. These graphical icons needs to remain as a 16 x 16 or 32 x 32 graphic in its entirety.
FamilySearch Temple Status Icons (black temple icon shown is available in multiple sizes)
FamilySearch Artwork (Complete set of files available for download in ZIP format)