Tuesday, January 3, 2023

FamilySearch: What to Expect in 2023

 I received this press release from FamilySearch today:


What to Expect from FamilySearch in 2023


What's coming in 2023 at FamilySearch.org.


 SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH—FamilySearch is excited to provide its annual glimpse into plans for the 

coming year to help individuals worldwide make fun personal and family discoveries. In 2023, FamilySearch patrons can expect free access to more of the world’s genealogical records, new search capabilities, more free help, and more localized discovery experiences.


RootsTech 2023


In 2023, FamilySearch’s popular RootsTech event returns. The world’s largest online family history conference runs March 2–4, 2023, and will include a live, in-person event in Salt Lake City, Utah, on the same dates. It is a great way to make new family connections, learn helpful tips for expanding your family tree, explore innovative new products and services, or be inspired by wonderful keynotes and speakers. The online experience is expected to attract millions of attendees worldwide, and thousands are already registered to participate in the in-person event. The online event is free, and the in-person event is only $98 for the jam-packed 3-day experience. Find out more or register now for both at RootsTech.org.


More Free Records 


FamilySearch adds up to 1 billion new online genealogical records from around the world each year to help patrons make new family discoveries. What many might not know is that since 2019, each year, FamilySearch has focused extra efforts on select countries (homelands) to significantly increase its online offerings of genealogical record collections from those countries. The result is a significant increase in discovery opportunities for individuals with ancestral roots now from 45 homeland countries.

In 2023, new homeland countries of focus will be the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Luxembourg, Nicaragua, and Uganda. In addition, FamilySearch will make continuing significant additions to the homeland collections of Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Italy, Mexico, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

In early 2023, FamilySearch will finish publishing the complete 1950 US Census online—including territories and schedules. It will likely be the most searched US genealogical collection online for the next decade.


FamilySearch has been preserving oral genealogies from 18 African countries. Since 2003, it has conducted over 1 million oral genealogy interviews and constructed family trees from those interviews. In the coming year, the searchable trees will be available for the first time in a new search experience at FamilySearch.org. 


Look for these new search experiences in 2023 and more expanded record collections—all for free!


Get Involved Initiative and Handwriting Recognition Technology


FamilySearch will expand the reach of its handwriting recognition technology and new Get Involved volunteer initiatives onto millions of native Italian records in 2023. Currently records are available in Portuguese, Spanish, and English. This will help expedite the discoverability of FamilySearch’s growing online image collection of genealogical documents from more countries worldwide by making them text and name searchable. In 2021–22, over 100 million Spanish language records were made searchable through these new technologies. Online volunteers who are native speakers of the language content help edit names from the computer-aided indexes to increase the overall accuracy of the user search experience. 


Online volunteers are key in helping create patron discoveries by helping make genealogical records searchable at FamilySearch. In 2023, a new dashboard feature will enable volunteers to see how their efforts are contributing to patron successes. They will see how often a name they indexed was found by a patron and attached to a patron’s tree as a source. They will also be able to see how they have contributed to each country when they help with other Get Involved projects in Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese records. 


New Family Tree Features


FamilySearch has a global user base and is therefore always seeking to create experiences customized to local interests and practices. In 2023, FamilySearch will offer Chinese patrons the ability to create printable, decorative tree designs from their Family Tree data.


Another new feature will enable members of family groups to collaboratively add and share memories with one another about living or deceased relatives. They will also be able to collaborate with one another on adding facts and sources for a living relative.


Finally, be on the lookout for other new tools and enhancements in the FamilySearch Family Tree to help expand, collaborate on, and share more family connections.


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Copyright (c) 2023, Randall J. Seaver

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