FamilySearch "No image available" is USUALLY incorrect

+23 votes

Sometimes when searching on FamilySearch, you'll find a record that has been indexed but is marked as "No image available".  This isn't necessarily correct and I'll show you one method for finding the image.

If the page says "No image available", look at the citation at the bottom for a "FHL microfilm" number.  If it's there, you might be in luck.  (Edit:  For some entries, look for "GS Film Number" under "No image available".)


The next step is to open the FamilySearch Catalog page (  Select "Film/Fiche Number", enter the number obtained above, and click Search.

You should then see a page describing the entire repository or dataset.  Under the "Film/Digital Notes" section, look for the "Film/DGS" number from above.  Selecting the Camera icon will open the images for viewing.

That was the easy part.  Now you'll have to manually go through the images looking for what you want, but at least you know it should be there.  The magnifying glass icon in the above image indicates that that film has been indexed, but apparently FamilySearch hasn't linked the index to the image number yet.  This is probably a side effect of their massive effort to convert all remaining microfilm to digital.  I would guess it will be resolved eventually as they catch up.

Edit:  If the camera icon has a lock icon with it, the image is probably only available in a Family History Center.



asked in The Tree House by Kerry Larson G2G6 Mach 6 (69k points)
edited by Kerry Larson
This is a great tip Kerry.  I'll try this out as I continue my records search.  M.
I updated the title of this thread from "may be incorrect" to "is USUALLY incorrect".  I've checked almost fifty of these records that say "No image available" and have located the microfilm in every case.  About 1/4 have the camera + key icon indicating they must be viewed in a Family History Center.  Sometimes you get lucky and there is an Image Number posted on the reference; in that case, you can go directly to the pertinent image.  Otherwise, it requires slogging through the images, which is too bad considering that the image number was known when the transcription was being made.

2 Answers

+5 votes
That was interesting Kerry. I had not realised that there could be microfilm numbers lurking in the reference when the record is showing no image available.
answered by Lynda Crackett G2G6 Pilot (542k points)
+5 votes
Thank you!  I use Family Search almost daily, and always appreciate tips and suggestions.
answered by Janine Barber G2G6 Pilot (123k points)

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