Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Dear Randy: Where Do The Older FamilySearch Collections Changes Come From?

Reader "Unknown" made this comment on my post "Added and Updated Record Collections at - Week of 12 to 18 May 2019" (dated 18 May 2019):

"For the last two or three FamilySearch updates, the results of your friend's crawl for the current week's changes seems to also include older changes from previous weeks. Is that intentional?"

Dear Unknown:  Yes, it is intentional.  

Marshall's program compares the current week list of FamilySearch record collections to the previous week's list.  The program notes which collections have been ADDED (they were not there last week) or UPDATED (the update date has changed to the previous week), and compares the number of indexed records and number of images.  

As you noted, his program also finds collections that are not listed as "Last Updated" for the previous week,  but have had some changes made to them - these are the "Records Removed," "New Records," "Images Removed" or "New Images" lists.  I think the labels are Marshall's creations.  When his program lists these collections, it picks up the last "Updated" date on the collection even if it is not the current week.  That's why these collections on the list have the older Updated date.

I have speculated to myself how these "minor" changes might occur.  Is FamilySearch just "fixing" a duplicate or wrong record index item, or a wrong link to an image, or a duplicate or wrong image, or did they found an image or index item that wasn't included initially?  Some of the entries on these "minor" changes are small - one or two records indexed or images, and some have no number changes at all.

However, looking at the list on the recent post, there are significant additions on many of the "New Records" and "New Images" collections.  Those are important for readers to know, but they don't show up on the FamilySearch "Historical Record Collections" list (

The bottom line is I think I know how Marshall's program finds these, but I don't understand why they don't show up on FamilySearch's "Last Updated" collection list.  I have not asked FamilySearch about it - maybe I should at Jamboree this weekend.

Thanks for the question.

Copyright (c) 2019, Randall J. Seaver

Please comment on this post on the website by clicking the URL above and then the "Comments" link at the bottom of each post.  Share it on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest using the icons below.  Or contact me by email at

1 comment:

Marshall said...

Randy is correct here. There are three sets of changes that I pick up.

First are entire collections that are added or removed. Collections that weren't there last week, or were there and now are not.

Second are "updated collections", ones where the "date of last change" date has been changed.

The third are what I call "silent updates", where the contents of the collection has changed since the last week, but the "date of last change" has not.
When that happens, I list them under "New Records/Images and Deleted Records/Images".

-- Marshall