According to Family Search’s site they started off in the late 1800’s as a genealogical society in Utah created to help church members trace their trees. They’ve been collecting records ever since. First paper then filmed then digital. In 1999 they went online & now they have users in so many countries you can get help in multiple languages. Best of all at least their site is free.
They’ve got some birth, marriage & death records, censuses & lists, compiled genealogies, directories, ethnicity, migration & naturalizations, military, newspapers, probate & court plus misc. records. They’ve got indexed records. They’ve got digitized records that are not indexed. They’ve got online genealogies. They’ve got scanned books. You can also create your own tree, participate in indexing projects, contribute to their wiki plus upload photos, stories, documents & audio files.
It’s because it’s free that I choose it over Ancestry. I don’t know how Ancestry started? I don’t know if paid employees created their records database? But they let people join for free. They let people create trees & upload things to them for free. Then they started charging fees to view even the work their users voluntarily did. I personally didn’t do this work for them to earn anything from it, so I deleted my tree.
You should note that Family Search’s tree is a shared tree just like at Geni.com. But they announce it up front. They want one entry for everyone & they want all living people working on it to make sure those entries are complete & correct & preferably backed up via at least one record. So at least you shouldn’t find Jesus in your tree like you can at Geni.com.
If I had it to do over again I would’ve started off there rather than at Tribal Pages. Especially now that they’ve got groups. When/if I’m ever truly bored, I may move over there & then never move again. But I’ve got a lot going on, so I don’t know if I’ll ever get truly bored enough.