FamilySearch has recently released a large and a small feature to Family Tree.
The small feature combines the history list with the Person button. The basic functionality is still there. Click the Person button to move from the pedigree or fan chart view to the person view. Alternately, click the little down delta (arrow) to see a list of the persons you’ve viewed recently. Click one to jump immediately to that person. Alternately, for those of you with exceptionally good memories, enter the PID (person id) and go to directly to that person.
The last addition to the menu is a useful feature, although I wouldn’t expect to see it in a navigation setting. The last menu item is “Create New Person.” Click this to enter a new person that is not connected to anyone else in the tree.
The large feature added to family tree is the ability to launch a search of historical records from the person page.
To start the search, click on “Search Records” in the Research Help box. It is located on the right hand side below the Print box and above the change history. The feature apparently fills in first name, last name, birth year, and birth place, and launches the search.
That’s a little anemic, compared to Ancestry.com’s Member Trees. They fill the search form in with every last detail known about the person. While that can sometimes be annoying, I find it helpful, allowing me to delete extraneous information whenever I need to hone in on a city directory or a misindexed record.
In my usage patterns on Ancestry.com, the ability to launch a search from my tree is the single most compelling feature of the Member Tree system. I’m glad to see FamilySearch take their first, haltering steps down that avenue.