Looks like Family Search is deliberately withholding records that used to be accessible

+5 votes
154 views

I am revisiting profiles I did when I first joined and beefing them up now that I have learned a little bit about what I'm doing.  I'm doing fresh searches to find more sources and often don't find records that I already have cited, but until just now, if I put the specific links in from the profile, I have gotten to them.

I just found something very interesting.  The citation for a World War II draft registration record I had put on a profile several years ago is:

<ref name="ww2draft">
[https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XR9F-XTB United States World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942], database with images, FamilySearch (accessed 21 November 2015), Theodore Michel, 1942; citing NARA microfilm publication M1936, M1937, M1939, M1951, M1962, M1964, M1986, M2090, and M2097 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), includes:
:Name     Theodore Michel     
: Event Type     Draft Registration     
: Event Date     1942     
: Event Place     Milltown, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States     
: Residence Place     Milltown, Middlesex, New Jersey     
: Gender     Male     
: Employer     Theodore/Michel     
: Birth Date     23 Jan 1890     
: Affiliate ARC Identifier     2555983     
</ref>

This time, when I put the direct link https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XR9F-XTB in, I got back the following message:

We're unable to show this record to you.

This record can only be displayed on certain accounts. FamilySearch must honor the agreements we have with our partners, record owners, and internal policies.

in Genealogy Help by Gaile Connolly G2G6 Pilot (910k points)
For what it's worth, I have also been getting that same result for every WWII Draft Registration Card record I try to access on Family Search.  The only workaround I have found, as Kathie suggests, is the Ancestry library edition.
Yes, I'm using ancestry library edition now when I can't find records at familysearch.  My concern, though, is that if I search with name (spelled exactly as on the record transcription, but still not checking exact), 2 or 4 year birth range, and limiting to state, the results include several other people's draft records.  Also, until this time, the link I had in the profile's citation always got me to the record.

1 Answer

+8 votes
FamilySearch, for want of a better term, "leases" the right to display information from other providers.  If the terms of the "lease" change, then they may no longer be freely available.  Once the Family History centers re-open you may be able to view the records there.  Some records are only available to LDS members.  Many of the records available on FamilySearch are also on Ancestry and can be freely accessed through the Ancestry Library edition (many libraries are making that available to patrons at home due to the pandemic).
by Kathie Forbes G2G6 Pilot (375k points)

But familysearch does have World War II draft registration records for many people.

Some of the records that I previously found and can get to with the links in my source citations also do not show up on search result lists.  This is often occurring with census records, when plenty of other people's census records for the same place and year show up there.

My guess it that it's somehow been re-indexed and is still there, but with a different link.  I just tried to search using the film index, (this is where it should be:  N - Film # 004135979 (familysearch.org) and when I called up the film I got "Error loading image, try again later"  so it looks like it's some kind of data base glitch.

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