Wednesday, January 12, 2011

FamilySearch News, Information and Updates

The following is from FamilySearch.

January 10, 2010
News, Information, and Dates
Dear Family History Consultants, Family History Center and Extraction Directors, and Priesthood Leaders,

FamilySearch Website Updated
For most of 2010 many of you were involved in testing the website. As 2010 came to a close that beta site became the website. Change is not always easy, and, as consultants, one of our jobs is to assist others through these changes. Here are a few items that may help you help others:
  •  As records were added to the site through digitizing and indexing microfilms, the older site technology became inadequate. Therefore changes were necessary—not just because FamilySearch wanted to make the site prettier, but because without them FamilySearch would be limited in the amount of searchable records the site could handle.
  • There is a link on the bottom right of the home page that takes you to the old site. This link will eventually go away, but it will be available until all of the functionality of the old site has been transferred to the new site.
  • There are more changes to come to the site, just as there is more data to come and much more data to digitize and index. Please do all you can to help others learn and embrace the changes. Having access to this new data and technology will allow us to do more temple work for our ancestors and bless countless lives.
  • When you give feedback or make suggestions, make sure that what you say is sufficient for us to take action. Just saying that you do not like something is not very helpful. If you can say why you don’t like it, give an example of how it doesn’t work, suggest how it could be better, or, if reporting a bug, tell us what steps to take to replicate the bug, you are providing useful feedback.

FamilySearch Accounts for the General Public
The website will, sometime in the future, become integrated into the familysearch.orgwebsite and become the “Family Tree” menu option. The website will then go away. Since the general public has access to, there needs to be a way to distinguish between members of the LDS Church and those who are not LDS Church members. Therefore FamilySearch accounts were created. Anyone who is not a member of the LDS Church can register for and get a FamilySearch account. Members of the LDS Church can register for and get an LDS Account. accepts both LDS Accounts and FamilySearch accounts. Consultants need to know the difference in the two types of accounts and be able to help members and the general public register for the appropriate accounts. Clicking the Create a New Account link on the website will allow anyone to register and choose either an LDS Account or a FamilySearch account. Once Family Tree is moved to, only those with LDS Accounts will be able to see information about temple ordinances.

Helping Youth Register
You may have opportunities to assist young people to register for an account. Please be aware that anyone under the age of 18 is required by law to have parental permission to register for their own account. This is in compliance with the Internet Privacy law. Consultants should not check the parental consent box when registering a youth for an account; only parents or legal guardians should do that. To do otherwise would be illegal and expose the consultant to liability.

News for Trainers
It is never appropriate to enter fictitious data into, even for training purposes. For those who train others on how to use (the Family Tree) there is a special website designed for you to use at Here you can enter test data, demonstrate how to use the data, and then revert back to your original data. This allows teachers to set up special teaching scenarios that they can then reset for the next class. It is very important that the live production website, new.familysearch.orgnever be used for test cases or have fictitious data entered into it. If you ever see anyone entering fictitious data into the live website, please inform them about the training site. Certain products from companies other than FamilySearch do not work on the training website. Please contact the vendor of the product to see if a solution is available.

First Polish Indexing Project Now Available
With the addition of its first Polish project, FamilySearch indexing now has projects available in 11 languages. If you would like to help index Polska—Ksiegi Metrykaine—Diecezja Lublin, 1902–1945, please contactFamilySearch or e-mail to learn more.

New Records Added to FamilySearch Website
The updated FamilySearch website has some new records to search. Nearly three million new digital images were posted this week, helping family historians researching their ancestors in Canada, Spain, Venezuela, and the United States. The U.S. Social Security Death Index is also a new addition to the site, with over 7 million indexed records. You can search all of these records and more at
We hope this information has been helpful to you, and we appreciate all that you do to help move family history forward.


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