Thursday, July 4, 2013

Update on FamilySearch.org -- Where are we with this website today?

FamilySearch.org has been undergoing substantial changes the last few weeks. Some of the sections of the website remain untouched, but others have changed several times and continue to change regularly. All of the resources are still there, but it takes some persistence and a little imagination and clicking to find some of the previously more accessible resources. Here is a breakdown of the major resources and some hints about how to find them on the website:

Historical Record Collections
Previously prominently displayed on the startup page, now the Collections are on the "Search" page. The link to the Search page is on the main startup page. Here is a screenshot showing the link to the Search page with an arrow:

There is also a link in the rotating slideshow window. That slide show turns out to be confusing to some because they think the website is changing. So much for HTML programming.

Ancestral File and Pedigree Resource File et al. 
When you get to the Search Page you have most of the frequently used resources in a menu bar. The links are as follows:

Records -- Historical Record Collections
Genealogies -- Ancestral File and Pedigree Resource File
Catalog -- FamilySearch Library Catalog
Books -- Scanned books online
Wiki -- Valuable resource for finding types of records and where to research

There are still a few things hidden away in other locations. The Learning Center with all the hundreds of educational videos is accessible from a link from the Help Center. To get to the Help Center you have to click on the link for "Get Help" in the extreme upper right-hand corner of the startup page.

The documentation for all of the programs, including FamilySearch Family Tree and the Photos is located in the Help Center under the category of Products.

Most of the recent changes to the website are focused on the Photos program. The links to Family Tree and Photos appear on every single page of the website (except when they don't). The main change to Photos is to the People view from the main menu where you can see all of the photos contributed by others to those in your ancestral lines.

Millions of free records are still being added regularly to the Historical Record Collections. The focus of the newer records seems to be Europe with a few from other locations.


1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Ron for all you do for everyone all around the world who uses familysearch.org. I love the changes on FamilyTree and I am looking forward to the day when new.familysearch disappears (waiting to merge some over-large individuals). Anyway - I don't know if you get enough gratitude - so THANK YOU!

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