Big Changes at FamilySearch.org

Here is an announcement from FamilySearch.org dated 12/14/2010:

Updated Site Now Available; More Improvements to Come

SALT LAKE CITY–FamilySearch announced several changes today for its family history website,  FamilySearch.org. Online patrons will find millions of new records and images, over 40,000 helpful articles, over 100 interactive courses of instruction, and a dynamic forum to ask personal genealogy questions. The changes have been in testing for some time. FamilySearch will continue to implement the new website in phases to ensure all critical elements are functioning as desired. Once complete, the website will be promoted more broadly.

The new site offers the following free benefits to FamilySearch patrons:

  • Millions more scanned, historical documents and indexes that are published more frequently.
  • An improved search experience that looks through more content and gives more accurate results.
  • A thriving online genealogical community where patrons can give and receive help.
  • One user name and password for all FamilySearch products and services.
  • Responsive, reliable, and scalable hardware and software that will allow the site to grow and improve.

FamilySearch has published a helpful document called “Adjusting to the New Version of www.familysearch.org” and a video tutorial that summarizes the changes to the new site.  These new guides can be found under the “Changes at FamilySearch.org” link.

The prior version of the site will still be available through the transition period.

To link to the actual announcement, click here.

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Looking for FAMILY-FRIENDLY GIFT IDEAS?  Click here.

Note from Family Tree Gal, Carolyn:  Have you joined the Family Tree Quest at www.familytreequest.com ?  I also invite you to join me on Facebook and Twitter.  Check out my Family Tree Gal Blog if you haven’t done so already.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation from FamilySearch for writing this post.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Records Update: FamilySearch Wraps Up Genealogical Gifts for the Holiday Season

Here is an update from FamilySearch:

Nearly four million new digital images are now available on Beta.FamilySearch.org. These collections include the first images from South Africa, as well as records from Brazil, Canada, Germany, Guatemala, the Netherlands, and the United States. About 1.7 million of these records are indexed.
Click here to see the chart for the complete list of newly added or updated collections.

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Looking for FAMILY-FRIENDLY GIFT IDEAS?  Click here.

Note from Family Tree Gal, Carolyn:  Have you joined the Family Tree Quest at www.familytreequest.com ?  I also invite you to join me on Facebook and Twitter.  Check out my Family Tree Gal Blog if you haven’t done so already.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation from FamilySearch for writing this post.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

15 Million New Indexed Genealogical Records Added to FamilySearch Beta

Here is part of the announcement from the FamilySearch Beta blog:

The collection of indexes and images available on FamilySearch’s beta website continues to grow by leaps and bounds, with the addition of 34 collections of genealogical records. These records include 15 million indexed records and 2.5 million images. The bounty of information covers 13 different countries around the world: Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Honduras, Guatemala, Brazil, France, Spain, Germany, Belgium, Jamaica, Canada, and the United States. Search these records now at Beta.FamilySearch.org.

To read the entire announcement go to https://news.beta.familysearch.org/node/1001.

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Looking for FAMILY-FRIENDLY GIFT IDEAS?  Click here.

Note from Family Tree Gal, Carolyn:  Have you joined the Family Tree Quest at www.familytreequest.com ?  I also invite you to join me on Facebook and Twitter.  Check out my Family Tree Gal Blog if you haven’t done so already.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post from familysearch.org.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

How To Start Your Family History

Familysearch.org is a great resource when starting your family history.  This website outlines six basic steps to family history research.  Those steps are:

1. Remember your ancestors.  2. Use sources in your home.  3. Ask relatives for information.  4. Choose a family or ancestor you want to learn more about.  5. See if somebody else has already found the information.  6. Search records for your ancestor.

Click here to go to familysearch.org.  Happy researching!

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Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post from familysearch.org.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

4 Major Updates to FamilySearch Beta

Here is what the FamilySearch Beta blog says about the new updates:

At the end of last week we released another substantial update to the FamilySearch Beta website. In addition to the four major updates outlined below, we’ve made a large number of improvements under the hood that aren’t really visible to users of the site but make a big difference in the overall performance and function of the site. Here’s the quick list of updates.

  • Redesigned Home Page
  • Brand New – Getting Started Section
  • Redesigned Learning Resources including online Research Courses
  • Just Released – FamilySearch Center Section

To read the entire blog post, click here.

To go to the FamilySearch Beta site, click here.

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Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post from familysearch.org.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

FamilySearch Expands Online Learning Opportunities

FamilySearch made the following announcement on Sep. 9, 2010:

SALT LAKE CITYAs students all over the country head back to school, family historians also have the opportunity to learn—but they can do it from home at their convenience.

FamilySearch now offers 81 free lessons on FamilySearch.org, enabling people anywhere in the world to access family history expertise any time. The topics range from basic research to training on specific record types and can be beneficial to both beginners and experienced researchers. Most of the classes come from research consultants in the world-famous Family History Library in Salt Lake City, but FamilySearch is also now working with partners to broaden the pool of expertise.

For example, FamilySearch worked with the Mid-Continent Public Library in Independence, Missouri to record and post 12 classes. These classes are available on both FamilySearch.org and the Midwest Genealogy Center’s site. Such collaboration benefits everyone involved, according to Darin Hakes with FamilySearch Community Services.

“We see partnering as a mutually beneficial situation for FamilySearch, our partners, and the patrons,” Hakes said. “We realize that FamilySearch does not have expertise in every area, nor do we have the bandwidth to create all the training that is needed. However, there are many excellent individuals and organizations that have created training that can benefit the genealogical community. They may not have the resources to record and publish their classes, so working together is the perfect solution.”

Midwest Genealogy Center librarian Janice Schultz agrees that partnering with FamilySearch increases their reach.

“The online classes allow people to attend no matter where they live,” Schultz said. “It helps us achieve our mission of educating genealogists. We have received many positive comments about these classes.”

In addition to the Mid-Continent Public Library, FamilySearch is working with the Association of Professional Genealogists, the Board of Certified Genealogists, and the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists. Individual genealogists may also use FamilySearch’s free services to record and share their presentations. One result of an individual partnering with FamilySearch is a class called “Inferential Genealogy” by prominent researcher and teacher Tom Jones.

“Tom’s class is excellent, but may be too complex for some patrons,” Hakes said. “We tried to provide a different instructional approach, to make the presentation of the content more visual and provide opportunities for practice. We added value by presenting his content in a different way, taking something fairly complex and making it more easily digestible.”

Upcoming FamilySearch classes will focus on U.S. courthouse research and a series of courses for those just getting started in family history research. There are also more interactive classes planned on reading handwritten records in different languages, a list that now includes Dutch, French, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

All of the classes can be accessed on http://www.familysearch.org by clicking on Free Online Classes on the home page.

ABOUT FAMILYSEARCH INTERNATIONAL
FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch has been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. FamilySearch is a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org or through over 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the renowned Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post from familysearch.org.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Jewish Family History Research

Family Search made the following announcement this month:

“A valuable resource for Jewish genealogical research has expanded to include records from all over the world. The popular Knowles Collection from FamilySearch is a free database connecting Jewish records of 115,000 people in 30 countries. The combining of those records into one collection makes it easier for researchers to find family sources.”

“Knowles started the database in 2007 to help him find his own Jewish ancestry. The collection began with 6,500 records from the British Isles, but has now rapidly expanded into five geographically-based databases with more than 115,000 names:

The Jews of the British Isles — 82,000 names

The Jews of the Americas — 10,300 names

The Jews of Europe — 18,697 names

The Jews of the Caribbean — 2,200 names

The Jews of Africa and the Orient — 367 names

The Knowles Collection is compiled from more than 200 different sources that have been transcribed and combined by volunteers. There is also a complete list of where the original records can be found. The entire collection is now linked electronically as families and fully searchable on FamilySearch’s Community Trees project, found at histfam.familysearch.org. Researchers can also download GEDCOM versions of each collection from www.familysearch.org .”

For the full news release click here.

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Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post from familysearch.org.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Familysearch.org Adds 26 Million New Names

Familysearch.org announced that there are “26 Million New Names Added for Costa Rica, France, Hungary, Mexico, Spain, and the U.S.”

“Twenty-nine new collections were updated or added this week at FamilySearch.org—with 26 million names and 1.5 million digital images!”

Click here for the full description and directions on how to access these newly posted records.

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Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post from familysearch.org.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Guatemala, Mexico, Spain, and U.S. Records Added to Familysearch.org

Here is the official article released by Familysearch:

Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Guatemala, Mexico, Spain, and U.S. Records Added

Twenty two (22) new collections were updated or added this week at FamilySearch.org—over 11 million new, free indexed names and images from original source records!

This week the complete U.S. 1910 Federal Census name indexes for Arkansas, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Indiana, Nevada, New Jersey, and Texas were published online at FamilySearch’s Record Search pilot (FamilySearch.org, click Search Records, and then click Record Search pilot) or Beta.FamilySearch.org.

Massachusetts death records and Minnesota probate court wills were also added to U.S. collections.

Also released were collections for Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Guatemala, Mexico, and Spain!

See the chart below for the complete list of all the newly added or improved collections.

None of this would be possible without the great contributions of many online FamilySearch volunteers. These individuals donate the time and effort needed to make these collections freely available to FamilySearch patrons. If you would like to help by donating a few minutes here and there online with projects of personal interest, become a FamilySearch community volunteer at FamilySearchIndexing.org. Many hands produce great work. Thank you for your support!

Collection Name Indexed Records    Digital Images     Comments
Brazil, Paraiba, Registro Civil [Part 2]        532,000 New Images
Brazil, Santa Catarina, Civil Registration          665,000 New Images
Canada, British Columbia, Deaths 1872-1986 [Part 4]           5,000       Updated Index
Canada, Nova Scotia, Antigonish Diocese 1823-1905          92,000        9,000 New Index and Images
Czech Republic, Trebon, State Regional Archive Church Records 1650-1900 [Part 2]             112,552  New images
Guatemala, Sagrario, Catholic Church Records, Baptisms, 1898-1920       19,000        2,000    New Index and images
Mexico, Yucatan 1930 Census        35,000       New index to published images
Spain, Barcelona, Vich, Civil Registration        11,000 Images & WP
Spain, Barcelona Civil Registration Pt 2          1,000 Images & WP
Spain, Barcelona Civil Registration Pt 3          2,000 Images & WP
Spain, Cordoba, Civil Registration          4,000 Images & WP
Spain, Málaga, Civil Registration        22,000 Images & WP
Spain, Ripoll (Girona), Municipal Records        53,000 Images & WP
US Federal Census, 1910, Arkansas  1,421,000   Index only
US Federal Census, 1910, Connecticut     955,000   Index only
US Federal Census, 1910, District of Columbia     356,000   Index only
US Federal Census, 1910, Indiana  2,957,000   Index only
US Federal Census, 1910, Nevada       91,000   Index only
US Federal Census, 1910, New Jersey     267,000   Index only
US Federal Census, 1910, Texas  4,000,000   Index only
US, Massachusetts, Death Records, 1913 v. 50-53        2,000        2,000 New index and imag
US, Minnesota, Probate Court Wills 1849-1918 – Part 1      37,000    

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Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post from familysearch.org.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Familysearch.org-Free Records and Resources from Around the World

Did you know that you can search birth, death, marriage, census, and many other records for free on familysearch.org

Once on familysearch.org, move the arrow over the “search records” tab and click on “records search pilot.”  Enter the information for the ancestor you are researching, or you may click on “search or browse our record collections.”  This will take you to a page where you may click on the part of the world that corresponds to your research.  You will get a list of available records you can search from that area.  This list includes birth, death, marriage, census, baptism, parish records, and more.

It is also important to note that record search is in pilot status-meaning it is currently under development; additional records are still being added.  You may even want to become a volunteer indexer.

There is a wealth of information available here.  Happy researching!

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Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post from familysearch.org.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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