Monday, April 15, 2013

New FamilySearch Website to Debut integrated with Church member family history experienceAs I wrote this article over the weekend, it appeared FamilySearch still plans to debut its new website today, 15 April 2013.

The received an invitation to view a beta version of the website. The invitation was directed to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, so it will be interesting to see if the new design is available to the general public. Give it a try ( and leave a comment letting everyone know what you find.

The new website highlights photo and story sharing, Family Tree, a new fan chart, and temple opportunities for Church members. According to the email, members of the Church will find their family history experience can start with the Church’s website,

New prompts new users for parents and grandparentsUsers fill out forms with information about parents and grandparentsThe new website includes an interactive fan chart for navigation through one's tree
Click images to enlarge

When a new user registers and views their fan chart, they are prompted to enter basic information about their parents and grandparents. (See images, above.)

When I attempted to upload photos for the first time on the beta website I was given this message:

We're excited to have you join FamilySearch Photos and Stories! Due to the overwhelming response, all of today's invites have been spoken for. Never fear—more will be available tomorrow at 9 a.m. MST. Please check back and we will get you started preserving and sharing your family photos with this exciting new tool. In the meantime, you can view photos that have already been published.

When I viewed the indexing page, I found the page shared progress reports not readily available elsewhere:

The new indexing page shows stats not available elsewhere

FamilySearch counting "down" to one billion recordsThat is not entirely true. I just found a special page ( showing the number of records that have been indexed. The page shows the count “down” (so to speak) to a billion records. Give the page a few moments and it will start showing the count incrementing. It’s pretty cool, although I think the counting is just for show. Hit F5 to refresh your screen and maybe you get a truer value.

But I digress…

When I clicked the Volunteer link, I saw some interesting information about donating to FamilySearch:

FamilySearch soliciting donations

I haven’t seen FamilySearch soliciting donations before. Interesting.

There’s probably lots more interesting things to discover. Check out today to see if the new website is public.


  1. I don't see the new features, just the search page. I am signed as a member of the LDS Church. Is it still forthcoming today, or has it been up and down again already?

  2. Unchanged from yesterday at 2040 hrs EDT. Logged in as non-LDS member.

  3. When I went to the page I got a pop up offering me a sneak peak. It took me to and seems to have been the same page you took the screen shots from.


  4. Actually it wasn't the same page - it was a page of screen shots and movies about what is coming, but not the actual new stuff


  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. The new website is scheduled to go live around 9 am mountain daylight time on Tuesday, April 16th... look for the updates described above then.

  7. AI,

    You can see the slightly older version of that same page also has a donate link. In fact, I remember looking at an even slightly older version of the volunteer page back when the new-non-classic site came out and it had a donate option then too.

    I took a screenshot before it goes away, but can't put it in this comment.

  8. Sneak peak available, new additions certainly look interesting.

  9. Going the way of and all the others who charge for information? I see it coming. I won't be putting my tree on there for others to edit. There are enough wrong trees out there already that lead new researchers down the wrong path. As much trouble as I had sorting through wrong spouses, wrong children, children as spouses, etc. I will let my tree be public at but never put it out in cyberspace to be edited by strangers.

    1. T: I'm about a month behind in leaving a comment here, but I just saw your post tonight. I don't know that your information is any safer on Other people may not be able to edit your actual tree, but they can surely very quickly and easily merge chunks from your tree into places they doesn't belong in their own tree. My tree on was also public until I got tired of trying to get several people (without success) to correct some very glaring errors they created by doing just that. An example: My 4x GGrandfather and family along with some photos I took in England are now grafted into someone's tree where the only similarities were a common name and approximate time frame. The descendants certainly didn't match up! I see that other people with no way to know any better have now in turn grafted bits from that tree into their own. Right or wrong, information in trees multiplies at an alarming rate! That also leads new researchers astray and there isn't much you can do about it. My tree is now private so they have to contact me before they can "borrow"!

  10. Just checked, and the new updates to are up!

  11. Thanks for the updates on the FamilySearch website ...have been adding names for a couple weeks now and just finished uploading five pictures and attached two of them to my great-great-grandparents. Looks like there changes being made as screens seem to be changing from one minute to the next. I have been an indexing arbitrator for several years now, but am not a member of the LDS Church. Am looking forward to seeing other changes as they are made available.

  12. I spent most of today on FamilySearch using the historical records, and I found it a bit removed from the main page, as Dear Myrt said least night in her FamilySearh gathering on YouTube.

    It appears to be a bit confusing



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