09
January
2017
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02:00 PM
Europe/Amsterdam

6 Things to Look for in FamilySearch in 2017

Worldwide interest in online genealogy services and activities will continue to grow solidly in 2017. And FamilySearch plans to play a major role in creating millions of new, fun family discoveries and online connections. Here are 6 exciting developments to look forward to from FamilySearch in 2017, a global leader in free online family history services.

1. Personalized Dashboard

Now available in 2017, if you log in to your free FamilySearch account today, you will be greeted with your own, customized home page full of interesting, relevant activity feeds, notifications, and suggestions on your personal dashboard. The more you work on your personal FamilySearch family tree, the more new, applicable content the system will automatically send to you through your dashboard throughout the year. In other words, it continues to work for you even when you're not.

New features include:

  • Recommended Tasks. "Next-step" suggestions for specific ancestors in FamilySearch Family Tree that can lead to new discoveries.
  • Ancestor Hints. As millions of new historical records are added to FamilySearch weekly, the savvy search engine maps them against your Family Tree. High probability matches are presented for your consideration as "hints" on your dashboard. Keep checking back to see what new information it has been dug up on your ancestors. Add it to your ancestor’s source page.
  • Recent Ancestors. Forgot what you did the last time you visited your tree? Your new dashboard will automatically keep track of the ancestors you are researching each time and create a list that makes it easy to pick up where you left off a few minutes ago or during a previous visit.
  • To-do Lists. Make quick notes in this convenient new feature to help you remember what you want to do on your next visit to your Family Tree. Jot short reminder notes about records to search, people to contact, photos or documents to upload and add to an ancestor’s profile, or personal and family stories you want to capture for posterity in the Memories feature.
  • To-do Cards. See fun new photos, stories, and relevant documents about your ancestors that have been recently added by other family members and cousins to your collective family tree. It's a fun way to identify relatives who are currently working on your family lines and make new discoveries or connections with extended family members.

2. New and improved Mobile Apps

FamilySearch's two mobile apps—FamilySearch Family Tree and FamilySearch Memories—will see cool new updates. Users will be able to search Ancestry.com from the convenience of the FamilySearch mobile app. Imagine being able to search the two largest online sources of family history records from your mobile device! A new descendancy view feature will give users the ability to create notes for specific ancestors, easily see a log of any changes made by others, and download user-contributed memories (Memories app). Multiple windows in the Family Tree app will significantly increase the speed of research from mobile devices.

3. Improved Searching

The FamilySearch.org search engine is already best-in-class, but in 2017, users will notice even faster search results from newly published historic records worldwide, and quicker hints from those new records and user-contributed trees.

 

Craig Miller,  Sr. Vice President of Product Development and Engineering, FamilySearch International
“We are really excited to launch the web-based version of our successful indexing software in 2017.  It will be easy to use and will work on any digital device with a web browser (excluding cell phones), eliminating the need to download the indexing software. That means more volunteers worldwide will be able to contribute in making more of the world’s historical records searchable by name online, and more quickly.”
Craig Miller, Sr. Vice President of Product Development and Engineering, FamilySearch International

4. New Indexing Tools

“We are really excited to launch the web-based version of our successful indexing software in 2017," said Craig Miller, FamilySearch's Senior Vice President of Product Development and Engineering.  "It will be easy to use and will work on any digital device with a web browser (excluding cell phones), eliminating the need to download the indexing software. That means more volunteers worldwide will be able to contribute in making more of the world’s historical records searchable by name online, and more quickly.”

Indexing is the nifty, web-based tool FamilySearch volunteers use to make hundreds of millions of historic records worldwide searchable by name for free online each year. These indexes are the secret ingredient to your ability to discover ancestral connections online quickly and easily. Additional innovations to the tool in 2017 will include more rapid completion of tasks, improved help, and even automated indexing for some record sets (obituaries) which means more records searchable at your fingertips, faster.

5. New Discovery Experiences

The Family History Library in Salt Lake City is a top tourist attraction for the state of Utah. In February, 2017, FamilySearch will open a wonderful, state-of-the-art Discovery Experience attraction on the Library's main floor. The new feature will enable guests to have fun, large-as-life personal discovery experiences with their family history using the latest technologies. Similar discovery experiences will be implemented in select locations worldwide in 2017.

6. More Free Historic Records

Over 330 FamilySearch digital camera teams worldwide will digitally preserve 125–150 million historical records in 2017 for free online access. Another 200 million images will be added from FamilySearch's microfilm conversion project that uses 25 specialized machines to convert its vast microfilm collection at its Granite Mountain Records Vault for online access. Over 30 percent of the 2.4 million rolls of microfilm have already been digitized and published online. The digital collections can be located in the FamilySearch catalog online and by perusing collection lists by location.

FamilySearch's online community of volunteers will be focused on creating searchable name indexes to two major collections in the United States (marriage records and immigration records that will include passenger lists, border crossings, and naturalization petitions), and core record collections from select high priority countries.

If you are not familiar with all the wonderful free benefits of FamilySearch, create your free account at FamilySearch.org, and start your fun journey of discovery.

About FamilySearch

FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org or through over 4,957 family history centers in 129 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Comments 1 - 20 (35)
Thank you for your message. It will be posted after approval.
Roland Morrison.
13
August
2017
I used To Be Able To Bring Up Image Copies Of Marriage, Births And Death Certificates. Now, When I Click On The Camera Image It Always Comes Back "No Image Available" Why Did They Disappear>>
Thomas Spillane
19
July
2017
re: previous msg same day Case: Request for an update re: Smolensk birth and death records. (03655706)
Thomas Spillane
19
July
2017
Dear Brother or Sister, After teaching a lesson on indexing to the ward's high priest group this morning, I received a telephone call from one of the brethren who was present. He and his wife had lived in Moscow, Russia while serving for the Church: From Nad Brown (age 80)-(paraphrased) “When Sister (Markay) Brown and I were serving a humanitarian services mission as country directors in Russia in 1999-2000, we came across an old Orthodox church building in Smolensk that had been closed for worship services but was being used as a records domicile, containing millions of birth and death records. The stacks of records were in many places higher than a man could reach. The area involved was the equivalent of our current stake center chapel from the stand to the stage at the end of the cultural hall. There was an older lady at the church, and they inquired about these records. They were told that towards the end of World War II, the Germans had all the records loaded into trains and sent to Germany. After the Russians won the war, they demanded all the records be returned, and the Germans sent them back. Brother and Sister Brown then notified Church Headquarters and efforts to obtain permission to copy and preserve those records began in earnest. The Russians would only allow so many records to be copied per year. The final results of this effort are not known. " Could you please provide an update on the efforts to obtain these records, or forward this request to the appropriate department, e. g. Humanitarian Services Department?
Howard Rock
05
April
2017
How do I find an ID for a Rock (complete File) Family File, I can only verify my family by comparing existing file Ids.
Paul Nauta
05
April
2017
Howard, We are not sure what you're asking, but we'll give a shot at answering your question. I am assuming that Rock is the family surname and that by “Family File” they might be referring to a submitted Gedcom file in the Genealogies Database (Under the Search tab). More specifically an entry in the Pedigree Resource File dataset, since that is one where these family specific trees can be uploaded. Doing a Search for the Surname Rock yields 24,440 results. If you click one of them, such as Edna Harriet Rock (4th one down) it will pull up her tree with her centered and her data filling the data panel on the left hand side. Scroll to the bottom of that data panel and you can see that this tree has a Submission ID of MM95-X5B Clicking that ID will do a search that will bring back all the deceased people in the specific tree. If you were asking something completely different let me know.
Nancy Seblom
17
February
2017
I have gotten new information on my archives.com site---a few years back---but apparently they were allowed to have it for just a certain length of time. I found something in March of 2014 and at the top of the page it said to get the info recorded because it would be gone by the end of the month! The entry happened to be the sister of my great grandmother and I learned that her real name was Johannah Louise Prey. She never went by anything other than Louise and Louise Ritzenthaler is noted on her stone at the Walnut Hill Cemetery in Baraboo, WI., Sauk County, I believe. The husband you had noted was a dead giveaway for me. I would be extremely interested in knowing where your information came from because her father is noted as Ludwig Prey and he would be my great great grandfather. A possible surname was down for his wife of Law, but no first name. I have never gotten any further on this lineage---one of the big reasons being that so many of the Germans in the 1800s went by their second name. I am old and cannot run around looking for a library that might be of help. It does seem to be a shame that I know the birth date and death of this woman and where she is buried, which was not on your entry. So someone out there who entered the other information on her would likely be very happy to get what I have. But there is just no way to contact sources---at least, on my Windows 7! I can tell you that I once found a marriage site on my great grandma in 1884 of Rietzig, Arnswalde County, Brandenburg State---all Poland now. She was noted as Mina Prei---with an i at the end. She was never known by anything other than Minnie, except on her immigration record where she was Anna Harmel. She was married to my great grandfather, Robert Harmel and they came to the US in September 1884 on the Salient out of Bremen. They are in the same cemetery with her sister. I am sorry for the length, but wanted you to know that it is a shame that we cannot connect with people who put information out there. At least, not me, as I am not so great on a computer. I have found many obvious discrepancies over the years---have worked on several lines for relatives---but I don't attempt to correct anything. It is hard enough just trying to search now and then! If you can be of any help it would be more than appreciated. Thank you. Oh, I did note on a 1920 census of Louise Ritzenthaler that her father was from Pomerania and mother from Brandenburg State. I was once told by a deceased relative that their mother died about 1921 in Germany. Also, there was a brother in Germany who had a boy and a girl. No more is known.
Jeanne Miller
20
January
2017
What are your hours at the stake in Wausau,Wis. Are they still there?
Paul Nauta
22
January
2017
You can locate, verify, and contact local family histories using the online Find a Family History Center locator at this URL. https://familysearch.org/locations/centerlocator?cid=hp2-1047.
Linda Barnes
20
January
2017
My grandfather's family comes from France. There are so few records on line from the major cities like Lyon, Marseilles (sp?) and Clermont Ferrand. Any hope of getting records on line any time soon? Also, the records from Canada from parishes are plentiful, but all written in French. It would be so helpful if there was a way to provide a means of translating these records as I know that this available on line in other applications. Know that we all appreciate all that FamilySearch.org is doing to aid us in finding the necessary info in order to get the ordinance work done for our ancestors. Thanks so much.
Susan Schwinn
17
January
2017
I would like to recommend that volunteers microfilm the Rockland County NY Inventories. You have the wills and surrogate court records on your site, but the inventories have never been filmed by anyone. The Rockland county surrogate court owns them, and they are stored off-site at the Rockland county Archive buildng. Researchers must go to the courthouse and requisition the inventory. They must then return a 2nd time to look at them - they are the original inventories. Who can I contact at familysearch, to get these records filmed? Sue
Paul Nauta
17
January
2017
Your request has been forwarded to the Indexing projects management group for consideration. Thank you!
Mark Gum
15
January
2017
I have been working on the new web based indexing program for over a year. Will the Stake Indexing Directors receive a "pre-launch" notification and training? Just want to help those who struggle with the new tool. Thanks for all your assistance. Mark Gum Columbine Colorado Stake Indexing Director
L. Young
15
January
2017
Why are some of the records now restricted and only viewable at Family Seach Centers??
Paul Nauta
17
January
2017
FamilySearch has literally tens of thousands of agreements with record custodians worldwide. The record custodian (archive) owns the records. FamilySearch's fundamental approach to historic records access is to provide the broadest access possible to all of its record holdings. In the vast majority of its contracts, broad access online is allowed and achieved. In the few cases where the record custodian has requested restricted access, we are obliged to accommodate their wishes and limit access to their records to our nearly 5,000 family history centers worldwide. This may be an inconvenience compared to broad online access, but it is still far more cost and time effective for patrons in most cases than a trip to the repository where the originals are currently located. Thanks for your understanding and support.
Daniel E. Niemiec
13
January
2017
I agree with those who want there to be no records that are ONLY available at family history centers. By the same token, please make a deal with Cook County Illinois to put the vital records back on family search. They were on line for a while and then removed. Even if we can't download or print, it would be so helpful to be able to read the details that are not indexed.
Daniel E. Niemiec
13
January
2017
Please please find a way to allow us to search records by a specific date, not just a range of years. This would be much more helpful when we have the right date but the record is poorly spelled or poorly indexed.
Robert Kehrer
18
January
2017
Daniel, Only a small percentage of the published searchable records have event day, month and year. Almost all have the event year. To make the full date searchable indexing teams would need to go back and extract that data from he images on most of the collections and republish the collections. I don't think that is planned. There is one workaround which is to export the search results into a spreadsheet. The dates will come out into a column and be sortable. -Robert
Keith Carnley
11
January
2017
Many of the records I need have recently been digitized from microfilm but they have restrictions on them that permit viewing only at Family History Centers. I would like to see some of these restrictions reviewed/renegotiated to make life simpler for those of us that don't have easy access to the Centers.
Tommie
19
January
2017
Keith, some films are given to us with only limited access so we are grateful for any viewing..One day restrictions will come off..
Diane A Holm
11
January
2017
I absolutely LOVE indexing, arbitrating, zoning and all things connecting! I first started when we indexed from the small disks. Someday I would love to be part of the FamilySearch digital camera teams.
Vanessa Warbler
10
January
2017
Has there been any progress on getting Greek records? My paternal grandfather was the only one in his family (from what I have been told) that came to America and I would like very much to add this to my tree. Also, since I am not an LDS member, how can I show my relatives what work I have done thus far? Many are asking and other than answer specific questions for them, I cannot do anything comprehensive for them to study and potentially make corrections to. Since I don't have children, my "calling" seems to be "resurrecting" dead relatives. I still haven't been able to figure out how to even print what I am working on to show my elderly mother. Thank you for a wonderful resource. Regards - V.
Paul Nauta
17
January
2017
FamilySearch recognizes the great interest in Greek genealogy and is doing all it can to acquire more content in Greece and make more records available online. Might we also suggest that you become a part of this Facebook groups? They can be very beneficial to you in your Greece family history research. “Hellenic Genealogy Geek” - https://www.facebook.com/groups/118224528189671/ And this one: https://www.facebook.com/hellenicgenealogyconference/
Nancy Liddell
10
January
2017
Hello All, I need to find a direct connection between Levi Rowley 1773-1805 in Connecticut and his daughter Delight (Rowley) Woodworth 1758-1831 in New York married Ephraim Woodworth 1756 Connecticut to 1838 New York for my Mayflower line. I can find nothing to connect father and daughter. I have even been to Salt Lake, contacted American Ancestors. No one can find anything. The Rowley Researcher does not give sources. I could go on and on to tell you where I have looked. Please if you know anything let me know. Nancy Liddell Happy New Year to Family Search
Paul Nauta
10
January
2017
Nancy, Work with FamilySearch's applicable Community Research Group online and utilize the wealth of other FamilySearch online research helps under the Get Help section on the main page (upper right hand corner). See this link. https://familysearch.org/ask/salesforce/viewArticle?urlname=Research-Support-resources
Mariepat
10
January
2017
I joined family search a long time ago, I don't know if I am still on record. Do I have to rejoin?
Paul Nauta
10
January
2017
If you can remember your login credentials, they should still be valid. If you have since changed your email and other recovery information, you might have create a new login. Contact FamilySearch Support if you need assistance. https://familysearch.org/ask/landing
ana ortalli
10
January
2017
Thank you for your hard work. I was wondering what it means "high priority countries". All the best for 2017!
Paul Nauta
10
January
2017
"High priority countries" are those countries for which FamilySearch will be focusing its historic records acquisitions and access efforts with added emphasis over the next 15 years.
Susan Mann Hirsch
10
January
2017
Thank you for the wonderful genealogical tool
Diane Westmoreland
10
January
2017
This is fantastic! Please keep me posted on any other new developments! When will the consultant Dashboard be out of beta and up and running?
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