I have been having quite a few challenges with the FamilySearch.org Family Tree lately concerning access and linking with partner programs and it now appears from this reader's comment that the problems extend quite a bit further to some of the other products and features. Here is the unedited comment:
The FamilySearch feature with the English Parish maps is down, and has been down for at least 24 hours now.I wish I had an answer for this user, but I was able to verify the inaccessibility of the English maps. Perhaps we are in a time of transition with the Family Tree. I can only hope that these problems are good news and that we are getting closer to a complete separation from new.FamilySearch.org.
This is linked from the labs.familysearch.org or the direct address is maps.familysearch.org.
I do a lot of English research, so I constantly use this feature to find where a specific parish is in England. If my relatives are from Dudley, Worcestershire, and I type “Dudley” into the search box, the maps page brings up Dudley parish, with a note on when the parish records for that parish were kept, and which registration district the records should be in. I can also see the surrounding parishes of Halesowen, Rowley Regis, Tipton, Oldbury, etc. This maps feature is invaluable. For instance, If I find a potential marriage record, I can type that parish name into the maps.familysearch.org search, and the map will show me how far that parish is from the one where my ancestor lives. I can see how realistic it is for that to be the correct marriage. Never heard of Handsworth? It’s two parishes over from Dudley.
This maps feature went down sometime in the last week or so, and apparently no one at FamilySearch noticed.
Right now, when I type in any location for a search, I just get an error stating “Error 500: Could not connect to database.” When I contacted FamilySearch, the agent was unable to find any reports of this problem. Not sure if they’ll care if they ever get my report. I can’t possibly be the only person who uses this wonderful feature, since I’ve heard about it in classes, and seen posts about it on your blog. I’m not holding my breath for them to fix this connection to their database, but I can always hope.
The information contained in this English Parish maps feature is available elsewhere online, but is not easy to find. And google maps doesn’t help much with parish boundaries.
English research just got a lot more difficult, if they don’t get the maps.familysearch.org back up! It was already programmed and working. Just re-connect the database, please, and leave it alone!
Grr.That’s my rant for the day. Actually, I might have another one, since FamilySearch is no longer recognizing pre-1752 Julian Calendar dates as such. Ugh. Never mind about Rant #2.