Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Amazing Updates from FamilySearch

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: Though I routinely see that press releases are posted at www.GeneaPress.com, I cannot help but admire the work that is being accomplished by FamilySearch volunteers. Please address all inquiries to support@familysearch.org.

Important Milestone for New.FamilySearch.org
In March 2011 the new.familysearch.org website registered its one-millionth user. Recently a limited number of members of the general public have been given access to the Family Tree. This number will gradually grow until access to the Family Tree is open to everyone. Free access to the Family Tree site will bless the lives of millions of people.

RootsTech Update
If you missed the popular inaugural RootsTech 2011 conference, you can now get a sampling of what all the excitement was about. The wildly popular new technology and family history conference held last month in Salt Lake City, Utah, made its keynote addresses and a few other popular presentations available online, free of charge. The six free presentations can be viewed at RootsTech.org. The RootsTech keynote videos are now available online through the RootsTech.org home page, or you can go directly to the video page: http://rootstech.familysearch.org/video.php.

Important Indexing News Update
Since 2006, volunteers have indexed 548 million records! It has truly become a volunteer phenomenon and is the largest initiative of its kind. The records can be searched free of charge at familysearch.org. Additionally, FamilySearch indexing recently added its first project in Hungarian, which means projects now cover 12 languages. The new Hungarian project is for Magyarország, Szabolcs—polgári anyakönyvi adatok, 1895–1978 [1. Rész] records. If you can read Hungarian, or know others who can, please help rally the much-needed support for this project. Additional projects will be added as the active volunteer base grows. Register or find out more information at indexing.familysearch.org.

In 2010, FamilySearch indexing posted the following milestones:
·         100+ projects in 11 languages
·         Addition of Portuguese and Polish languages
·         40,000 new active indexers (completed a batch of work), for a total of 127,000 active indexers
·         Volunteer indexers averaged 2,169 records each
·         Arbitrators averaged 17,803 records each
·         186 million records were double keyed and arbitrated

New Online Course
A new course on finding and using courthouse records, featuring professional genealogist Christine Rose, is now available under the Learn tab in familysearch.org. Courthouses are places where you can find answers to genealogical problems. They are a rich source of written records created as a result of the laws then in use, the time period, and the personal activities of your ancestors. The steps delineated throughout this course will assist you to be more effective as you visit courthouses in your search for genealogical information. Click here to see the new course, or view a list of other courses.

Tips and Tricks
FamilySearch Research Wiki hint: Every page on the Research Wiki has a link that allows you to “Watch” the page. If you are looking for research hints in a certain place and the information is not complete enough to help you, you can click on “watch,” and you will then automatically receive an e-mail notifying you whenever anything changes on that page or when new information is added.

FamilySearch hint: If you would like to see what new collections have been added, click on the link on the bottom left of the home page called “All Record Collections.” Then just look for the asterisk (*) next to the dates in the “Last Updated” column. All of the newest record sets are flagged with an asterisk like this.

Sharing family names for the temple hint: If you want an easy way to instantly share family names with friends and family, don’t mail them the cards—instead, e-mail the FOR (Family Ordinance Request). It’s simple. As one of the last steps in new.familysearch.org for printing the FOR (part of the name clearing process), you have the option to save the document as a PDF. If you pick that option, you can then send the PDF file you created as an e-mail attachment. If this explanation is confusing or the process seems difficult, just ask a computer savvy youth, family member or friend to walk you through it. By e-mailing the FOR, you can get it to the people instantly, and with the new system they don’t even have to send the cards back if you don’t want them to. The completed ordinance information will show up immediately on new.familysearch.org.


  1. " Recently a limited number of members of the general public have been given access to the Family Tree. This number will gradually grow until access to the Family Tree is open to everyone. "

    How does one qualify for this limited access? Can you explain?

  2. Has anyone heard of the latest new familysearch app? It's called Advanced Tree Inspector and is at usfamilytree.com. You can download and view 9 generations of ancestors at once for free.

  3. Mytle:
    For checking for recently updated content on FamilySearch, after looking at All Records Content clicking on the "Last Updated" will sort by update date. Hope this makes it even easier for everyone, I rely on that trick!

  4. @ONePony -- We'll jsut have to see what FamlySearch does with that roll out. I don't have any inside tips on this. sorry...

  5. Thank you, DearMyrtle, for all the wonderful info that you share with us as readers!

    You also have a lovely blog, and I've awarded you the Lovely Blog Award, and you can pick it up at http://www.familytreewriter.com.