Each month, FamilySearch publishes a list of new changes and updates to the FamilySearch.org website. This list includes changes to Family Tree as well as other parts of FamilySearch.org. In some cases, these changes will also be published as individual articles where the need to do so exists.
A “Sticky” Column Header Row for Search Results
Before when you searched for a person, the column headings would scroll off the top of the screen, and you had to remember what information was listed in each column. Now when you are scrolling down search results, when the column headings get to the top of the screen, they will stay there, and the results will scroll below them.
This gives you the maximum screen area to evaluate multiple search results. This is especially helpful if you are expanding the results to view the record details. You can also see what information is in each column and adjust column width and placement.
Offsite Icon When an Image Is Available on Another Website
Sometimes a historical record on FamilySearch.org includes an image of the original record. Sometimes the historical record has only the information that was indexed, but you can see an image of the original record on another website. The records now have an icon that indicates that the image is on another website. This helps you know that when you click View Image, you will be going to a different website.
When an image of the original record is on FamilySearch.org, you see a small camera icon. When the image is on a different website, there is a small web page box behind the camera.
Family Tree: “View My Relationship” on the Details Page
A person’s detail page now displays a View My Relationship link for people in your scope of interest. (The scope of interest is 4 generations of ancestors and 1 generation of their descendants.) This is like the View My Relationship link in Memories. When you click View My Relationship, a chart shows how you are related to the person.
International Genealogical Index (IGI) Sources Added to Family Tree
The International Genealogical Index (IGI) was an index to many of the computer records created by the Church. The records were a source of information for many of the deceased people in Family Tree. We are adding the IGI sources to the Sources sections for those people. If a person had two or more records in the IGI, you may see multiple IGI sources listed. (If you click the source, you see a message that the source was an IGI record.)
We have moved about 100 million of the 500 million IGI sources to Family Tree and will continue until all of the records have been added.
Community Trees Collection Added to Genealogies
A new high-quality collection called Community Trees has been added to Genealogies on Familysearch.org. Community Trees is a growing set of more than 120 location-specific trees compiled by skilled genealogists using all the records available for the specific localities. These trees have extensive sources and should have a low error and duplication rate.
To search for an ancestor in Community Trees, do the following:
- At the top of the page, hover your cursor over Search.
- In the drop-down list, click Genealogies.
- On the Genealogies search page, enter the information about your ancestor.
- At the bottom of the screen, click the Add
- In the drop-down list, click Community Trees.
Updated Genealogies Search Form
The search form for Genealogies now looks and functions more like the search form for historical records. A panel on the right describes the collections included in the Genealogies search. When more collections are added to Genealogies, you will see them in the right panel.
If you click the All button at the bottom of the form, you see a drop-down list that lets you search a specific collection.
Refine the Search Results in Genealogies
When you search Genealogies, on the left side of the screen, the system displays how many records were found in each collection.
If you do not want to see all of the records found, under Refine your search, click the collection or collections you want to see. (You can choose more than one collection.) The system puts a check mark by the collections you choose and then displays the results from only those collections. (In this example, if you click Pedigree Resource File, you will see just the 29 records from the Pedigree Resource File.)
The quality and format of the data in Genealogies varies. Users have often expressed a desire to be able to choose which collections they search. Now you can choose collections before you do a search, or you can search and then use the Filter to see the records from a specific collection.
Updated Genealogies Record Details Page
In Genealogies, when you click a search result, you see the details for that record. Those details are now displayed like the landscape view in Family Tree, with similar navigation. If a record includes multiple generations of a family, you will see the generations in a landscape format. The information for the person is displayed in a panel on the left side. The collection that has the record is described in a green bar across the top of the page.
New Campaign: Ancestors in Obituaries
Obituaries are fun to read, especially the ones about your ancestors. Obituaries may also contain names of family members who have not been added to Family Tree or taken to the temple. A new effort to promote family history has identified about a million patrons who have ancestors in the following obituary collections:
- United States, Obituaries, American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 1899-2012
- Idaho, Southeast Counties Obituaries, 1864-2007
- Idaho, Southern Counties Obituaries, 1943-2013
- ObitsUtah Obituary Index
- Utah, Obituaries from Utah Newspapers, 1850-2005
The patrons will be sent an email to encourage them to read and learn from the obituaries, attach the records to the Tree, add names of family members to the Tree, and go to the temple for those family members.
The emails are being sent out in stages to keep from overwhelming the site. So far, we have sent 100,000 emails. Over 15% of the patrons have clicked to discover their ancestors in the obituaries.
New Campaign from the First Presidency: “Blessings Await Your Family Today”
The office of communication services (OCS) sends a monthly email from the Office of the First Presidency to about 4 million Church members.
The March email includes a family history message linked to a page on LDS.org where members can watch a video about claiming the blessings of temple and family history work for their families. The video includes highlights from the Family Discovery Day at RootsTech 2015. To see the video, go to: https://www.lds.org/topics/family-history/fdd-ofp?lang=eng. We also want members to go to FamilySearch.org to learn how to find the names that they can take to the temple. After you view the video, you can learn more about Family Discovery Day, or you can go to this page to get started: https://familysearch.org/campaign/how-to-fp.
Improvements to the Online My Family: Stories That Bring Us Together
- Auto-Save Stories
As stories are added to the booklet, they are now auto-saved. This lets you walk away in the middle of writing a story and come back without losing your work.
- Use Existing Photos from Others
You can now add your own photos of ancestors or use a photo that was uploaded by someone else for that same ancestor. This helps to prevent duplicate photos being added for the same ancestor.
- PDF Cover and Introduction Pages
As you generate a PDF version of your online booklet, the standard cover page associated with the printed booklet is available. In addition, a personalized introduction page is added that indicates who supplied the data for the PDF booklet.
- Handling Duplicates
As you enter ancestor information in the online booklet, FamilySearch.org checks to see if that ancestor may already be in Family Tree and notifies you of potential matches. If you select a match, the ancestor is linked to the information and the families already in Family Tree. The person’s ancestors will be copied into the online booklet.
- Ordinance Status
If deceased ancestors in the booklet are linked to Family Tree, you can now see their ordinance status. This is available only to Church members.
- Submission Coaching
When you add new ancestors to the booklet, you are coached on the information that is required before an ancestor’s name can be reserved for temple ordinances. This is only available to Church members.
Request to Remove a Living Record
You can request to have a record containing living information removed from the Historical Records. This option is available only for the California Birth and US Public Record collections.
To request to have a record of a living person removed, click Get Help, and click Request to Remove Living Record. You can then fill out and submit a form requesting to have the record removed.
Requests can only be made one record at a time. The system helps you by filling in some of the critical information needed to remove the record. Information is removed only for the specific record requested.
Duplicate Historical Records Are Being Retired
Many users have noticed that they often see hints and search results that look like duplicates of the same indexed record. After years of managing these records across many different systems, a small amount of duplication has crept into the databases. We are keeping the ones with the most data and retiring the duplicate records. This removes the duplicates from search results and hints.
If you have linked to a duplicate historical record that has been retired from the system, you see a message at the top of the page. The message has a prominent link to guide you to the surviving record. The link that was created for the retired record will continue to be displayed, but all the tools that allow you to take action on the record (such as Attach, Save, and Print) are removed.