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You might’ve read on the blogosphere that FamilySearch is hosting a bloggers’ day
at its Salt Lake City headquarters, with about a dozen genealogy bloggers in attendance
and one on the phone (you
can see their tweets on Twitter with hashtag #FSBlogDay).
Most of what was covered was context: a look at the changes in FamilySearch products
and services over the last few years, and what direction future developments might
take. Over the next few days, I’ll share what I’ve learned that’ll be especially helpful
Sometimes it’s helpful to have an overview. You might be using parts of the FamilySearch
website in your research right now, but not know that other parts exist. Eventually,
all the parts will be integrated into one site where it’s easier to move from one
to another, but for now, here are the parts and where to find them:
This familiar site has Ancestor File, the International Genealogical Index and other
pedigree databases, the Social Security Death Index, the Family History Library Catalog,
research outlines, and more.
FamilySearch Record Search
Pilot Site: For a few years, this is where Familysearch was publishing its
digitized records and volunteer-created searchable indexes. The site is still there
and will remain for awhile, but new records are no longer being added. Instead, those
new digitized records are being added to …
This is where new FamilySearch features are being incorporated, and it’ll be the main
FamilySearch site in the future. Right now, it has all of FamilySearch’s digitized
records and the volunteer-created searchable indexes, searchable family trees, plus
links to FamilySearch online classes, the Research
Wiki (with articles you can search for genealogy advice), a new version of the
Family History Library Catalog, a Family History Center search and a FamilySearch
This site lets you search lineage-linked genealogies from specific time periods and
localities around the world. See
this page for geographic areas and time periods covered.
Forums: I just
learned about this resource–post your research questions here, and genealogists (including
Family History Library or Family History Center consultants) lend their expertise.
No need to register if you don’t want to.
FamilySearch has mobilized volunteers around the world to help index its digitized
genealogy records. Here is where you can join the volunteer effort and see what projects
are in the works.
New products are tested here.
This is a place (eventually to be called FamilySearch Family Trees) where users can
post and collaborate on family trees. It’s currently available only to members of
the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as kinks are worked out. We got a
look at some of the kinks, which include how to reconcile differences in trees for
the same family.
In the interest of full disclosure: FamilySearch covered travel expenses and meals
for participants in the bloggers’ day. There were no agreements regarding whether
or how any bloggers would cover the event.