Genealogy from the perspective of a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon, LDS)

Friday, January 9, 2015

What's going on with FamilySearch?

The website is in a constant state of change. In this the website is really no different than any other active website. I even get comments when I post more than one or two posts in a day that people cannot keep up. Considering that millions of users view and use the resources on every day, it is no wonder that the content changes. In fact, the website in undergoing a significant surge in popularity. Where are the areas that see the most changes?

Your perception of the answer to this question depends on how you use the program and how closely you watch the changes. The section with the most consistent changes is the Historical Record Collections. The number of records added runs into the millions almost without fail every week. The change is so constant that it has become almost a background chorus to the activity on the rest of the website. Here are some of the collections that have been added or updated in the last week:
Many people are aware and some complain about the changes being made to the Family Tree program. But this perception is probably due to the users adding, correcting, changing and merging information on the Family Tree. There are frequent changes to parts of the program but few of these changes affect the content and many go unnoticed by users. The reality is that the program is still under active development and it is very likely that development will continue for the foreseeable future. Some of the changes are merely cosmetic but others add new features. I understand that there will be some feature enhancements in the near future. I will be reporting the changes as soon as they are announced.

One background part of the program changes frequently. This is the Research Wiki. There is a counter on the startup page and at the time of this post it shows 80,656 articles on genealogical resources. The pace of adding articles has slowed lately, but that is due mainly to the fact that the program has become extremely comprehensive. Don't worry, the program really has no limits and can keep growing indefinitely.

The Memories section of also seems to change constantly but this perception is also due to the increase in user submitted documents, photos, audio files and stories. The number of photos on my People section, showing photos submitted by me and others, now has over 220 photos. This does not count the ones I have loaded up and that I am processing. Other than user additions, the program itself has evolved but mostly through the addition of features. It still appears much the same as when it was introduced. 

Additions to the FamilySearch Catalog and the Digitized Books collection go almost unnoticed. The catalog grows as items are acquired by the libraries and added to the catalog. The Books collection grows as more books are digitized and then added into the existing collection. Neither of these would be noticeable unless you knew how many items were added and that information is not supplied by FamilySearch.  

The Indexing section of the website also changes constantly due to the work of the volunteers, but the structure of the website has not changed significantly. FamilySearch has discussed a major overhaul to the website, but that has not yet appeared. 

As I stated at the beginning of this post, the changes to the website are almost constant. This is the natural effect of a vibrant, useful and very much used website. 


  1. Another new feature: we can now share temple ordinance reservations with individual people instead of just the temple system. Go to the Temple section, click a name's checkbox, and click share. The purple Help box explains the process.

    1. Thanks, I will look into it. I heard that was coming.