News Release

At Risk Records Preserved in Ghana

Church preserves history of African people.

Future generations will have opportunity to connect with their roots thanks to a monumental records preservation project sponsored by FamilySearch, a non-profit, volunteer-driven subsidiary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


FamilySearch contracted with Smave, a Ghana based company, to scan and digitize the 2010 Ghana census records containing more than 25 million records and prepare them to be added to the FamilySearch database.

Currently, 42 employees are working on the project. Ten scanners, provided by FamilySearch, are kept busy 24 hours a day, in two shifts, to complete the project. One individual can scan about 20,000 records per shift. Of the approximate 25 million records, over 20 million have been scanned and recorded.

Derek Oppong, a Smave technician said, “As I prepare records for scanning, I come upon names of people I know. In years to come, this preservation work will enable great-grandchildren to find their forefathers and make a connection which would normally be lost.”

After the 2010 population count was finished, the records were stored at the Ministry of National Statistics in Accra. As in the past, the census records were set to be destroyed to make room in storage facilities for the upcoming 2020 Census records. The Church discovered the potential loss of these records and identified the critical need for them to be preserved for use through the FamilySearch website.

When the project is completed, the scanned and digitized data will provide information about families; names, dates, places of birth, and other information needed to search histories for generations to come.

Richard P. Dadzie, Africa West Area Family History Manager said “Many irreplaceable records in African countries are in danger of being lost. Various records throughout this continent are at risk. Some are destroyed through war or deterioration, others because room for other records are more important.”

“When records are destroyed, a part of Africa is lost forever,” said Dadzie. “Preserving these records will help future generations know where they came from, which is an important part of maintaining our traditions and culture.”

FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help with this pursuit, FamilySearch has been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records throughout the world.

The FamilySearch database is free and open to anyone to research. It is a nonprofit organization dedicated to connecting families across the generations. Researchers can search the millions of African-related records as they are published online at

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.