Here at FamilySearch.org we’ve had a pretty big year. We’ve launched some exciting enhancements to the website, we’re reinventing the indexing experience, we’re creating handheld and smartphone tools, and we’ve announced some new partnerships with some very big companies in the genealogy and family history community.
So, what has been the direct effect of helping family historians better accomplish task one: finding documented sources that support conclusions? I’m excited to say that the result is nothing short of incredible! Finding and documenting sources is the foundation for making accurate conclusions in your family tree—like industry wisdom says, “Conclusions without documentation turns genealogy into mythology!”
Let me give you an example of what I’m talking about. In the entire six years prior to 2013 when Family Tree was introduced, there were approximately 60,000 sources attached to ancestors in new.FamilySearch.org. However, in the six short months since the release of the enhanced patron experience that added Photos, Stories, Fan Chart, and a world-class Family Tree, over eight million (yes that’s right, 8,000,000) additional sources have been attached to ancestors in FamilySearch Family Tree!
And I’m excited to tell you that sometime around the beginning of 2014, the 12-millionth source will be attached to Family Tree at FamilySearch.org. We’ll be watching closely to see who that user will be who attaches that 12-millionth milestone.
In fact, I’m excited to announce the launch of the “12-Millionth Source Challenge.” We want to acknowledge and reward one lucky family historian who will attach the 12,000,000th source! What’s in it for you if you’re that person? The winning submitter will receive 10 hours of free family history research through FamilySearch’s world-renowned Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. This is a big deal—the Family History Library team creates the family histories which are presented by the L.D.S. Church to V.I.Ps such as U.S. Presidents, heads of states, entertainers and other distinguished visitors. We’ll soon be adding a countdown clock to the website, we’ll be watching to verify sources (the winning source has to be legit after all), and then we’ll all celebrate together for reaching this amazing milestone.
What’s made all of this possible? It’s all happening because of a combination of hard working people like you and the addition of powerful new website features on FamilySearch.org that we’ve recently released. These include:
- An expanded and enhanced Search feature
- The ability to find sources directly from an ancestor page in Family Tree so we pre-populate the search field for you
- Adding the ability to add sources to Family Tree with a simple click of the mouse
- The addition of hundreds of millions of new records online every month
We thank you for all your hard work and for all you do. We look forward to rewarding one of you for being the one who attaches the 12-millionth source to Family Tree at FamilySearch. So, let the challenge begin!