Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Saturday, October 26, 2013

What Happened to the Guide to FamilySearch Online?

Two years ago in mid-2011, I published The Guide to FamilySearch Online. (Tanner, James L. The Guide to FamilySearch Online. Mesa, Ariz: Bookmark Graphics, 2011). The question has been asked many times if there will be an updated edition? This has been a serious concern of mine for the last year or so. In March of 2012, FamilySearch announced the Family Tree program. At the time there were nearly constant indeterminate predictions of the demise of the program it replaced, Quite frankly, I kept waiting for Family Tree to settle down and to be separated from As long as the two programs shared the same database there were several key features of Family Tree that did not operate correctly.

As the time dragged on for the separation, FamilySearch has kept up a steady stream of modifications to both the Family Tree program and A year before the site was revamped, I was demoed a potential startup screen. All of these factors led me to wait "just one more month" for an update. I did not want to publish an updated book that would be out-of-date the day it reached publication.

Presently, it looks like the program may become separated from the Family Tree program at the end of 2013. Regardless of any remaining changes or updates to the Family Tree program, I will likely do a complete revision and a new edition of the book in 2014.

Another consideration was whether to publish the book in both paper and digital versions or only digital? I will work out all these issues as I see how progresses. As I review the book, I find that most of the changes to are either superficial of cosmetic. Most of the existing book, especially those portions of the book dealing with other websites and the basic functions of the program are valid if only slightly out of date. Granted, there have been enough substantial changes to the content to necessitate a revision.


  1. I would say both electronic and paper. The demographics of the people who would purchase the book would probably show that a paper copy would be welcome.

  2. I am not all that enthused about Family Search and the new "editing" ability for everyone. For instance, I was trying to merge a name, "Cordelia Hocker" and ended up deleting the one that had the most information. I wrote to Family Tree and well, I am not smart enough to be able to figure all that out. Also I am not thrilled with the being able to make changes anyway, whether I goofed or not. People have way to much wrong information due to that lack of good research documentation. "Our family says: so and so was born **** and the other person is wrong" is not my idea of correcting informaion.
    Also, I placed my family tree on there some years ago, I have since done more research and the tree has been added to and/or changed from what is on there. Documentation also is with the information/names. How do I go about placing this information on the site. Will the old tree be deleted and the new one will be made available or will it just be added to all the other "stuff" that people have put on there?
    I am unable to go to the FHC and get this worked out as I am a stay at home person most of the time due to health issues. Therefore I cannot get help in that regard.