Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Pre-FGS 2016 Ketchup

Insider KetchupI’m headed off to the 2016 Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference in Springfield, Illinois. Tomorrow I’ll be turning my focus over to the conference for the remainder of this week. Time to ketchup.

FamilySearch tree bullet On Friday, FamilySearch released its “What’s New” for August.

  • FamilySearch added the ability to quickly attached unindexed FamilySearch Historical Records as sources in FamilySearch Family Tree.
  • They will soon release a new home page. It will provide individualized information for you based on your activity in Family Tree, photos and stories others have posted about your relatives, recommended tasks, and recently viewed persons.
  • They have changed which page you go to when you select Memories in the menu bar. For a while it went straight to gallery. Now they’ve restored a landing page from which you can go to various parts of the Memories section of FamilySearch.org.
  • As I reported during the BYU conference, the Memories App now provides a suggested list of questions that you can ask of a relative.
  • They added a Search Historical Records option to the main menu of the Family Tree mobile app. It just takes you to the Search Historical Records section on the web.
  • Like the person page on FamilySearch Family Tree on the web, you can tap a search button and search for that person either in Family Tree or on Ancestry.com.
  • In the Family Tree mobile app you can add Notes about a person.
  • In the Family Tree mobile app they added a page to view all memories about a person.
  • In Family Tree on iOS (Android coming soon), you can view a map showing the location of an event in a person’s life.

For more information, see “What’s New on FamilySearch—August 2016” on the FamilySearch blog.

Bullet Ancestry.com Reader BKip pointed out that Ancestry.com has done something relative to the RootsWeb free pages manager at http://freepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/fileman/file_manager.cgi. It now returns a different error message. That’s good in the sense that it means they’ve turned their attention to this portion of the RootsWeb website.

FamilySearch tree bullet FamilySearch is presenting a week-long European Family History Conference, online or in person at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. In person seating is limited to 190 and online participation to 500, so register soon. Lab participation is even more limited, 26 onsite and 100 online. The conference is free and will be held 12-16 September 2016. It is for beginner and intermediate genealogists. “Explore such topics as census, church, immigration, and vital records. Learn more about German, Swiss, Russian, and Polish research. Discover new techniques, strategies, and methodology to apply to your genealogical research problems.” A syllabus will be available for anyone to download. For more information, see “European Family History Conference” on the FamilySearch blog.

BulletTree I came across a record set on Findmypast for a database that I think they obtained through the Mocavo purchase: The California birth index. It should be viewable for free, but I wasn’t able to figure out how. Has anyone else found a way to view the former Mocavo databases for free on Findmypast? Let everyone know. I wonder if Findmypast will put together a page listing all the Mocavo databases. That would be a good way to attract potential customers. I could only find a couple Mocavo databases mentioned online: the California birth index, the California death index, the Social Security Death Index, and the Connecticut death index.

FamilySearch tree bullet Judging from his slides, I missed a good presentation about FamilySearch at the July 2016 Riverton FamilySearch Library Saturday Seminar by Dan Peay. While a lot of the information was directed at members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, some might be of general interest. Dan showed that FamilySearch’s executive leadership from the Church—the FamilySearch board of directors, if you will—has changed. Elder Allan Packer has been replace by Elder Bradley D. Foster as the executive director (chairman of the board). He is assisted by directors with regional assignments: Elder C. Scott Grow over the United States and Canada, Elder Eduardo Gavarret over the rest of the Americas, Elder Ian S. Ardern over southern Asia, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand, and Elder Erich W. Kopischke over Africa, Europe, and north Asia. Rod DeGiulio, formerly over the Records Division of FamilySearch, now leads a division named Priesthood Area Support, with direct reports corresponding to each of the aforementioned areas of the world.

Dan showed some numbers: 6.0 B searchable names, 1.5 M new names daily, 18 P [petabytes] digital storage.


  1. I clicked on the link to the CA Birth Index in your post and it loaded.

  2. Replies
    1. Can you search, select a result, and see the transcription?


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