Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Keeping up with FamilySearch

It has been a challenge for me to stay up-to-date on what's happening with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) FamilySearch website. I am not a church member, but I am very interested in the free offerings from FamilySearch - the database records, the family tree, the Research Wiki, the library offerings, etc.

I was unable to attend the Federation of Genealogical Societies conference two weeks ago in Knoxville, or the Family History Expo held last weekend in Sandy, Utah.

Fortunately, at least two genea-bloggers shared some information from the Family History Expo over the weekend:

1. The Ancestry Insider blogged about FamilySearch In a Corner which summarized Ron Tanner's comments (Ron is the go-to guy for Family Tree now). The comments included:

* "... stated goal for the Family Tree is that it be so genealogically correct that even the best of genealogists will want to use it."

* "...admitted that the current design didn’t go far enough from changing 'my tree' and 'your tree' into 'our tree' since it maintains 'my conclusion' and 'your conclusion.' "

* "... future direction is to change the Tree so that anyone can correct it. Anyone can contribute to it. Anyone can contribute artifacts to it. Anyone can change the information that you contributed to the Tree—maybe for the better."

Read all of The Ancestry Insider's post - there is a lot more there to ponder over! It sounds like there will be a significant change in some FamilySearch features by the end of September.

2) Renee Zamora on Renee's Genealogy Blog posted Salt Lake Family History Expo 2010 - Day 2 that has some interesting nuggets, including:

* "...Only 5% of all genealogy records are online" per Gordon Clarke. I'm glad to see this value - it's what I've been guessing recently!

* Gordon Clarke also said (perhaps in jest) that "... technology will advance to the point that we all will have our own 'seer stone' that we could view our family histories, that are stored in the cloud."

* "Legacy's NFS feature operates as an add-on program. It will launch a separate window to access it. Very similar to how Legacy Charting works." according to Leonard Plazier who presented "Legacy Family Tree and new Family Search."

Please read all of Renee's posts about the Family History Expo.

There were several other genea-bloggers at the Family History Expo, but I haven't read any comments yet about the FamilySearch plans. If you were there and posted something about FamilySearch, please let me know!

My thanks to The Ancestry Insider and Renee Zamora for the up-to-the-minute news about FamilySearch.

For the record, there were 453 databases (33 with red stars) today on the FamilySearch Record Search Pilot site, and only 289 databases at the FamilySearch Beta site (Historical Collecitons).


Finn said...

Randy, I attended the Salt Lake Family History Expo and also one of Ron tanner's presentations. He said that all the collections in Pilot Record Search would be moved to the Beta FamilySearch by the end of the month. We all assumed that he meant by the end of September. Shortly thereafter he said that the data in "old" FamilySearch, IGI, Pedigree Resource File, etc would then be moved over to Beta. He indicated that one day when we logon to FamilySearch it will suddenly be what we have seen in Beta. He also talked about the various licenses that FamilySearch has for the data and why it is important to logon, it will give you greater access to images depending on the license. So if you don't have a FamilySearch account, now would be a good time to get one. He said that "artifacts are coming".

Amy Coffin said...

Randy, I attended a special by-invitation FamilySearch breakfast at FGS. It sounds like commenter Finn heard some of the same talk at the Salt Lake Expo.

I saw a preview of the website and where FamilySearch is going. It looks like it will be easier to zero in on records than it is now.

Since I'm not a member of the LDS church, I feel I don't know what I don't know about certain aspects of FamilySearch. Ancestry Insider is right with the "corners" term.

The main message I took away from the FGS session is that everything will be in one place at FamilySearch omitting the need to log in at all the different parts of the site. That's why they're encouraging folks to get a user name soon.

The FGS talk went through a lot of stuff very quickly so I didn't catch it all. I liked what I saw, though, and the pitch worked on me. I'm ready to hear more.

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