Sunday, July 01, 2012

FamilySearch 2nd Quarter 2012 User Newsletter

The following is from FamilySearch.

FamilySearch User Newsletter

2nd Quarter 2012

In This Issue:

CEO Corner: Volunteers and the 1940 Census Effort

I hope you have all had an opportunity to search for your ancestors in the records created as part of our 1940 U. S. Federal Census project. As you know, we are part of a consortium that has produced the most comprehensive and searchable version of this data available anywhere online. If you don’t have access to the records for the area in which your ancestors lived, you soon will. Through a remarkable internal and external effort we have been able to marshal a volunteer indexing force of more than 137,000 volunteers, with that number growing by nearly 1,000 a day. Our volunteer population, if it were a U.S. city, would rank just ahead of Savannah, Georgia, and just behind Pasadena, California, in size. We now have more volunteers than lived in Albany, New York, when the 1940 census was taken. Full story.

What's Hot: Get and Give Help

Do you have questions about researching family who lived in any of these states?

·        New York
·        Pennsylvania
·        Ohio
·        Virginia
·        Utah

You can now speak directly with someone who has experience researching in these areas, and who can help guide you in the right direction. Soon we’ll have volunteers answering questions in any locality or topic. Click here to learn more.

What's Hot: The Research Wiki

The Research Wiki - A powerful tool for research. Are you familiar with the Research Wiki, and how it can help you with your research? Search the Wiki to find out more about the records that exist where your family lived. Here’s how.

Department Spotlight: Learning Services

The Learning Services Group at FamilySearch has been doing a lot help patrons learn and apply family history best practices. Here are some interesting statistics and what we’ve been up to.  Read the full article.

5 Minute Genealogy: 1940 U. S. Census Records

The 5 Minute Genealogy series is an on-going set of videos that covers a wide variety of topics in a simple and easy-to-follow format. They are available free of charge to the public through the FamilySearch website.

One of several popular video that researchers are viewing now is titled, Finding your Rural Ancestors in the 1940 US Census. To view this video, click here.

Tech Tips: Photo Sharing

One of the many prized possessions for genealogists, in addition to record sources, is to find photographs of their ancestors. To add a face, features, clothing and time period to their knowledge of that ancestor brings them so much closer. This author had this personal experience over and over again as her mother was the last of nine children and she never knew her mother’s mother, additionally, on her father’s side she never knew his parents and so their pictures have helped her to bridge that major gap in her life.Full story.

VIP Tips and Tricks: Two New FamilySearch Videos

FamilySearch has recently released two great new videos that discuss the massive collection of genealogical records that makes up FamilySearch. The first video is titled “FamilySearch: Access to Records.” It explains how FamilySearch gives you access to many of the world’s records of birth, marriage, death, censuses, and so forth. The second video is titled “FamilySearch: Search Tips” and explains some excellent research tips on how to get the most when searching for an ancestor in the Historical Records Collection. Full story.

Fresh from the Vault

New collections are added each week to FamilySearch. Collections that are marked with a camera indicate collections for which digitized images are available. Collections marked with the term “Browse Images” refer to the fact that the collection has not been indexed yet but is available for browsing. These collections have helps added to assist you in narrowing your search down to specific times, places, and record types. Click here to see the new collections. When you get to this page, click on the Last Updated link above the collection dates.

Site Scoop: FamilySearch Website Updates

The latest updated release of the FamilySearch website provides users with two dramatic improvements. The first is a new version of the IGI (International Genealogical Index). The second is a new feature called My Source Box. See a webinar of these features demonstrated by FamilySearch Search Technologies Sr. Product Manager Robert Kehrer.

New FamilySearch Features: IGI

All of the legacy IGI (International Genealogical Index) records will be available at While many genealogists found the IGI useful, its mix of community indexed sources and community contributed records meant that not all of its data was equally reliable. This problem has been resolved by creating two IGI collections, both searchable from the IGI collection page: Full story.

New FamilySearch Features: My Source Box

FamilySearch now provides a new feature called My Source Box. This Source Box serves as a place to capture a record source and preserve it. Your source box contains the sources that you want to attach to your ancestors. It lets you reuse sources instead of retyping a source each time you need to use it. If you're not using it, you should be! Full story.

Spotlight Focus: Users with Disabilities

According to Christopher Phillips, Disabilitiy Services Manager of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, approximately 1 in 5 people struggle with disabilities of one type or another. Some of these disabilities are quite apparent, such as blindness and deafness. Other disabilities may be less apparent, such as dyslexia, tremors, and color blindness. Many people with disabilities may feel they can’t use all of the services and products provided by the Church’s Family History Department. Full story.


Success Stories: Life after the 1940 Census

Thanks to the contributions of over 136,000 indexers, the 1940 US Census project is well ahead of schedule. Indexing and arbitration of all states is expected to be complete in July. The indexes for many states have already been published at The remainder will be published soon. Volunteers are naturally concerned about maintaining their enthusiasm. Full story.



Click here to see events happening in the family history industry.

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