The Joseph Smith Papers has collaborated with FamilySearch to identify living descendants of the more than six hundred individuals identified in the documents published on our website thus far. The purpose of the partnership is to help those descendants access documents, stories, and additional information about their ancestors found on josephsmithpapers.org.
“Though the primary audience for the Joseph Smith Papers is scholars,” said Ben Godfrey, product manager for the Joseph Smith Papers website, “an important secondary audience includes members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who have an interest in the church’s history. This collaboration with FamilySearch helps us reach members of this important audience.” The effort will also serve people who are interested in their family history and who are not members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
So far the effort has reached roughly 250,000 people, and it is expected to reach 500,000 descendants in all. The project is already seeing results; the first phase of the campaign generated the most visits and unique visitors to the site on a single day since the Joseph Smith Papers site was launched.