Friday, April 20, 2012

FamilySearch update 20 April 2012

FamilySearch has been very busy promoting the intro of the 1940 U.S. Census but if you have been distracted by the Census, you may not have noticed all the other things going on. Here is a recap, including the Indexing of the 1940 U.S. Census:

Here is the latest update graph from the website:

The states in dark are mostly indexed, the other states may have some indexing but not yet over 50%. The states already indexed probably tell a lot about where the indexers live. FamilySearch has an Indexing contest ongoing with winners each week. Where is the Indexing Project exactly? It looks like only Colorado and Delaware are completed as of 20 April 2012, but several states are close to completion.

Here were some statistics posted today on the FamilySearch Blog:
  • So far, 14.2% of the entire project has been completely indexed.
  • We have 75,820 indexers and arbitrators working to index and arbitrate the census records.
  • Colorado and Kansas have been completely indexed and are being processed in preparation for posting on
  • Delaware is posted online at
  • Nine states (Alaska, Idaho, Indiana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming) are 80% or more indexed and will soon be complete. To see the status of each state, visit
  • A total of 19,242,589 records have been indexed and arbitrated by volunteers.
Thanks to FamilySearch and Steve for the update.

FamilySearch Historical Record Collections
The total number of collections has arisen to 1126 with recent additions in the Netherlands, Washington, Italy, Saskatchewan, Texas, Wales and Austria. There is an update of the 1850 U.S. Census and similar collections going online every day of the work week with 57 collections either added or updated since the beginning of April, 2012. The increase is nearly 3 collections every day. If you haven't checked out the new records for a day of so, you are probably unaware of the huge number of daily updates.

Digitized Books
It is difficult to tell anything about additions to the collection of digitized books, but a search on one of my family surnames that I have done from time to time showed a dramatic increase in book numbers. I am still waiting on the book I had scanned a couple of years ago. I suggest checking this periodically for new additions. Find the new books by looking in the Family History Library Catalog.

FamilySearch Research Wiki
Just today, the Research Wiki went over 67,000 articles. There are several active projects going on all the time including the Utah Project and several others. The Projects are designed to help both with content and with the layout of the Wiki. The Wiki relies almost entirely on volunteer efforts.

Research Courses
It looks like there are 377 online courses in the Learning Center. There is nothing closely comparable to this number of free online classes about genealogy anywhere else on the Internet. Here is an interesting example:

By the way, there are hundreds of free videos, not all from FamilySearch, about genealogy on YouTube. Try searching under genealogy or other related topics.

FamilySearch Family Tree
You may not know that the program called is on its way out to be replaced by FamilySearch Family Tree. Family Tree was announce at RootsTech 2012, not as a Beta test, but as a life online and functional program. Several changes and additions have been made to the program since then. There is now extensive information about the program in the Family Search Help Menu, including the following documents:
You might be most interested in the document on gaining access to the FamilySearch Family Tree. This program is open to both those who are and those who are not members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If you or your family members have not submitted genealogical information previously to any of the FamilySearch programs, you may have a blank document when you start. Even if you haven't submitted anyone to the file, it is always a good idea to search for existing people before adding anyone.

As you will see from an examination of the release notes, there is a lot of development going on with this program. As an editorial comment, this is 1000% better than New FamilySearch ever looked.

As you can see FamilySearch has been very busy. Keep up the good work. Thanks to all who are involved in working on FamilySearch.

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