As I wrote this article over the weekend, it appeared FamilySearch still plans to debut its new website today, 15 April 2013.
The AncestryInsider@gmail.com 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 (www.familysearch.org) 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, www.lds.org.
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:
That is not entirely true. I just found a special page (https://familysearch.org/billionrecords) 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:
I haven’t seen FamilySearch soliciting donations before. Interesting.
There’s probably lots more interesting things to discover. Check out www.familysearch.org today to see if the new website is public.