Thursday, March 07, 2013

FamilySearch Family Tree Available to All

The FamilySearch Blog quietly announced on Tues, March 5, 2013, that the "Family Tree is Live on for All Users". I have been waiting for an official press release from FamilySearch on this announcement, but so far none has come.

I speculate that the reason they are silent is out of concern with overwhelming the FamilySearch website with to much traffic.

FamilySearch Family Tree is the replacement for the New FamilySearch (NFS) website. NFS was rolled out very slowly to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint by temple districts. It took several years for all LDS members to gain access. Then it was slowly being released to the public but never became available to everyone. During the roll-out process it was determined that the model needed major changes. FamilySearch Family Tree is the second generation model.

That said NFS is still not officially dead. If you are using any of the third party affiliates with NFS you are still not able to sync with FamilySearch Family Tree.  Some affiliates say they are syncing with Family Tree but that's really stretching the truth.  If you move data to NFS through a third party product it could "potentially" be passed along to Family Tree but it isn't directly going there.

Third party affiliates are still waiting for FamilySearch to complete the API to FamilySearch Family Tree so their programs can sync with it. The sooner that days comes the happier I will be.

I have discovered that if you gain access to Family Tree you also gain access to the New FamilySearch website. Your login can be used on both websites. That means any one can access NFS through third party programs.  We have had a lot of anxious RootsMagic users waiting to be able to do that.

A word of caution here. If your third party affiliate program allows combining on NFS don't use that part of the program. Combines on NFS are messing up things on Family Tree. That is because Family Tree uses a different process called Merging and they are not the same thing.

During this transition period both websites are actually pretty unstable. There are periods of time that both sites go down.  So be patient. The announcement that FamilySearch Family Tree is available to everyone is  a significant milestone in it's development.  I feel like we are beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel.

If you haven’t had a chance to see FamilySearch Family Tree in action, simply go the site and click on Family Tree at the top of the page. You can also take advantage of the training website to view tutorials, access a user guide, and much more.

There is also a great personal website developed by Elder LeLand Moon a Family History Library Training Missionary. He has a great collection of training videos to help you learn how to use Family Tree. You can visit his site at: .

See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day!

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