I was first introduced to the program in about October of 2007 and my first blog post on the program was in about December, 2008. Its pretty hard to believe I have only been writing this genealogy blog for about four years. This present post is not meant to be a review of New.FamilySearch.org, rather I am focusing on the issue of the availability of the program.
Just so we are all on the same page, the New.FamilySearch.org program is primarily a huge lineage-linked database of individuals and families. It is not the same as FamilySearch.org which is mainly a website with original source materials and instruction on genealogy. New.FamilySearch.org has been the object of considerable criticism from the users because of the duplicate and inaccurate data. The program itself is very good, by the way.
I am asked regularly about when New.FamilySearch.org will be made available generally to the public. Well, earlier this year, there was a limited re-write of the program introduced to selected Beta-testers around the U.S. (and possibly elsewhere). See FamilySearch Family Tree Beta Review from Michael W. McCormick at Enduring Legacy Genealogy. There has been no official word on the status of the newest Beta version, but from the descriptions of the program, it is possible to guess that the newest Beta is aimed at address the more serious concerns of the users. This can be confusing because technically, the program never got out of Beta testing in the first place. The latest new release update from FamilySearch is dated back in October, 2011 and it appears from the Help Center publications that the current version of the program is .994 or something close to that.
Now, there are some very crucial unresolved questions about the program:
- When will the general public be given access? I assume that this eventuality has been pushed back considerably due to the introduction of the current upgraded Beta test.
- When will the newest version of the program become generally available? Your guess is as good as mine.
- Will the current (new) Beta test program resolve the known issues with the database of the now older program?