FamilySearch International is a non-profit family history organization associated with the Family History Library based in Salt Lake City, Utah. It is dedicated to gathering, preserving and sharing historical records worldwide. Over 3.5 billion names and scanned documents may be found on the FamilySearch.org database, which is used for research and genealogical reference. FamilySearch is currently in the process of, or has already completed, digitization projects of other probate court records throughout Ohio including Clinton, Greene, Morrow, Huron, Muskingum, Gallia, Morgan, Richland, Ashland, Ashtabula, Butler, Jefferson, Cuyahoga, Hamilton and Lake counties.
The Fayette County Probate Court has partnered with FamilySearch together with the Fayette County Recorder (who oversees the Archive Center) and the Fayette County Genealogical Society to undergo a project with FamilySearch to scan probate records in the Fayette County Archive Center which date from 1940 and prior. Records which are to be scanned/digitized include birth, death, estates, church, cemetery, land, military, naturalization, slavery, marriage/divorce, voter, tax, and schools prior to 1940. It is estimated that 500,000 records will be scanned and preserved during this project.
Volonda VanDyne from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints of Ashland, Ohio, the Mormon Church, has been assigned to Fayette County to scan and preserve archival-quality images and indices. Ms. VanDyne has been an independent contractor for the Mormon Church having digitized records for seven counties in Ohio. Fayette County will be her eighth. The Multiarea Manager for Family Search is John deJong of Salt Lake City, Utah. This project is a free mission provided by the Mormon Church and a free copy of the digitized records will be given to Fayette County, making the records freely available and easily accessible to people seeking information about their ancestors. The Fayette County Genealogical Society is committed to this local volunteer effort providing assistance to access to the Archives and to streamline this enormous effort to preserve these records.
Volunteers are needed to assist the Fayette County Genealogical Society and Volonda VanDyne in this preservation effort. The Society and Ms. VanDyne would like to begin the training of volunteers in October. If you can spare a few hours a week anytime Monday through Thursday at old Armory where the records are now stored, please contact Cathy Massie White, project liaison for the Fayette County Genealogical Society, at 740-333-7227 or ReunionMassie@yahoo.com.