FamilySearch hired four BYU-Idaho students to help develop software.

January 4, 2013
Writer: Spencer Allen

With the world's largest source of family trees and genealogy resources, FamilySearch has united individuals and families for over 100 years. Billions of names have been collected and can be accessed online or at any of their 4,500 family history centers worldwide. As the genealogy organization continues to adapt with the latest technology, they have turned to an unlikely bunch for help.

Two weeks ago, four students studying computer science and electrical engineering at BYU-Idaho were hired to further develop software for the genealogy guru. The students will work on sidep rojects that FamilySearch would like to do but simply doesn't have the resources in Utah.

"Not only is this great for employmen tbut this allows these students a chance to apply the very things they're learning in the classroom. It gives them incredible real-life experience," said Richard Grimmett, instructor in the Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering.

Students who are fluent in foreign languages are also been sought after. At the moment, FamilySearch needs help transcribing records from Spanish, Italian, German, Korean, and Chinese into English. Before records are opened to the public, the multilingual students will translate and upload their work in classified search engines for genealogy researchers.

As members of the Church continue to take pictures of family records throughout the world, the workload for the new hires of FamilySearch will continue to increase. The hope is to not only move the work of FamilySearch forward, but also invite individuals of all faiths to search and discover their families.