I’m way behind. Time for Insider Ketchup.
FamilySearch has announced the class schedule for the Family History Library for November. Click here for the schedule. Most webinars are recorded and posted on the Family History Library Classes and Webinars Wiki page a few days after presentation, so you can access past webinars and handouts.
FamilySearch has released its monthly wrap up of new features and changes on FamilySearch.org. They include:
- A simplified help center experience. I mostly like it. They’ve obviously copied the Google search experience, placing the text entry box in the middle of a mostly blank page. However, I don’t like the elimination of a separate Learning Center search experience. It appears there is no way to filter by language, format, or ability level. Unlike Google, there seems to be no search tools or advanced search page. Hopefully they’ll find a way to work those features back into the mix.
- FamilySearch has added 141 million new record hints into Family Tree. For more information, see the article “141 Million New Ancestor Hints Added to FamilySearch Family Tree” on the FamilySearch blog.
- You can read and send message in the mobile app.
- You can open a map in the mobile app.
- Names of contributors appear in the Memories gallery.
- You can upload a photograph while entering a story.
- On 26 October 2016 FamilySearch published a bunch of new obituaries in the U.S. GenealogyBank obituary collection. Along with the new publication is the ability to see and navigate to others listed on the page. In the collection, 23 of the 31 million records were indexed by computer. If you view one of those records, a message will indicate it was indexed by a computer and you will be given the opportunity to request a correction. (That correction request feature is available only for this collection. If you want to make corrections to any other records, you are DOA.)
I’ve received new reports that portions of RootsWeb—mailing lists in particular—are broken. An anonymous reader commented on 23 October 2016:
I am unable to post messages to either of the mail lists I administer. Nor can I subscribe to Listowners-L. I took a look at various list archives, it appears the mailing lists have not not been working since Oct 7 2016.
Andy Micklethwaite sent me this message on 21 October 2016:
I received this as a reply to a post on a Facebook group:
“Morning, as you are probably aware they upgraded the servers recently. At the same time they upgraded Mailman, the lists software, to the latest version which was long overdue. It’s the latter that has caused the problem, I believe. The lists have been down since the 7th October. Hopefully they will be back in due course but no date is known.”
Ancestry employees recently spent a week building a home for Habitat for Humanity. Employees from their Lehi, Orem, and Salt Lake City offices helped build a new home for a local American Fork family. “We want our employees to get personally involved in the community,” said Ancestry’s Camille Penrod. “[We] offer our employees time to volunteer on the clock so they’re able to participate in meaningful charities.” For more information, see “Ancestry Employees Give Back” on the Ancestry Tech Blog.
FamilySearch is gradually rolling out a new homepage design. I’ve written about it before. Regular users have probably all started seeing it. The left side contains inspiring videos, tree-specific resources, and recently added photos, recordings, stories, and documents about your ancestors and their families (and advertisements, I might add). The right side contains a list of recently seen ancestors, recommended tasks, and a to-do list. For more information, see “New FamilySearch Design: Log In to Try It Out” on the FamilySearch Blog.
“Ancestry recently announced the creation of a Tech and Product User Group in Utah with the goal of encouraging collaboration between companies across the Wasatch Front to solve difficult and interesting technology and science problems.” For more information, see “Ancestry Hosts First Tech/Product Meetup in New Lehi HQ” on the Ancestry Tech Blog.