FamilySearch in 2018. As many of you will know I have been hard pressed to find out what new releases are happening with FamilySearch in the last few months so I was very pleased to get this press release and to be able to share it with you. This announcement encompasses all aspects of FamilySearch and will take the website to the next level – which is great news for genealogists. Those of you who use FamilySearch (and if you don’t then you are missing out big time!) will know that in November we were all required to register and use a log in to access the site. I know some people were unhappy about this, but as the site is free I really don’t think these complaints were justified in the least.
I have recently written about FamilySearch in a couple of blog posts and links to them are here.
Now let’s see what the FamilySearch in 2018 bulletin has to say ……
FamilySearch is an online family history services with over 9 million users/134 million visits in 2017. In 2018 FamilySearch will be expanding its free site and services by adding new family discoveries, more online connections, expanded global reach, and millions of new sources to search.
1. FamilySearch in 2018 – Personalized Home Page
Signed in participants will enjoy the refinements to the personalised FamilySearch home page allowing them to make many more new discoveries and easily engage with their family trees. If you have an online FamilySearch family tree and new photos, stories, or documents are added these will show up on your home page and prioritised based on relevance. You will also be able to see new additions as relatives add them. The FamilySearch Record Hints will be more adaptive and relevant. As new records are added to FamilySearch the search engine will map them with your family tree. the emphasis will be on adding new ancestral records.
2. FamilySearch in 2018 – Historical Records
Over 400 million new images will be digitally preserved in 2018, most of which will be published online. Plus hundreds of millions of indexed names obtained from historical records will be added. New images will first be accessible as browse only in the FamilySearch Catalog Viewer. Once they are indexed they’ll be published in the FamilySearch Historical Record Collections.
3. FamilySearch in 2018 – Online Discovery Experiences
FamilySearch will introduce fun, new personal “discovery” experiences online and in additional physical locations in 2018. The online experiences will be similar to the popular attractions currently found in select FamilySearch Family Discovery Centers. (I have no idea what this is as I haven’t explored the Discovery centers – have any of you? Linda)
4. FamilySearch in 2018 – Family Tree
FamilySearch Family Tree will be extended in 2018 to be useable on more devices than at the present time. There will be improved language support, faster loading and easier navigation.
The FamilySearch Family Tree app will continue to be improved and updated throughout 2018. We are promised location-based experiences for making family discoveries wherever you happen to be (does this mean that if you are in an ancestors village it will bring up data about the village? – this sounds as if it could be quite a breakthrough – Linda) The Relatives Around Me feature which allows groups to discover who in the crowd is related to them and how will be improved. (this sounds amazing and I can see it being helpful at family reunions – Linda) Improvements to the app will also include a new Research Mode that will allow multiple windows to be opened simultaneously to facilitate multitasking and research from within the app.
6. FamilySearch in 2018 – Memories
Millions of family photos and documents are now being uploaded onto FamilySearch by individual researchers. At the moment only one image per family story can be attached, in 2018 the facility to add multiple images will be added. These images are stored free of charge. there will also be a Fan Chart which will show researchers where memories and sources are attached to an ancestor and where they need to be added.
7. FamilySearch in 2018 – FamilySearch Web-Based Indexing
The software being presently used to index records will cease to be used in 2018. It is already beiing replaced with the new FamilySearch web indexing platform. This new tool is easier to use and works across all devices with a web browser except for mobile phones. This allows the millions of volunteers worldwide to undertake indexing where ever they happen to be.
FamilySearch International will continue to host RootsTech and support community growth, personal development, and exciting industry innovation. It is estimated that over 100,000 people attend RootsTech either in person or online. (I will be writing about how to access RootsTech presentations and lectures as soon as the information is to hand. Click here to access my previous blog post “RootsTech From Afar – Free, Accessible and Well Worth While”. )
RootsTech 2018 has as keynote speakers Scott Hamilton, Brandon Stanton, Dr Henry Louis Gates and Natalia Fourcade. RootsTech highlights exciting innovations related to family history as well as educates and entertains.
9. FamilySearch in 2018 – Oral Histories
Recognising that some cultures observe oral histories and that when the holders of these histories pass away the information is lost forever FamilySearch is significantly increasing the number of oral histories it captures throughout Africa.
FamilySearch in 2018 – Summary
Above is my version of the FamilySearch press release, the original can be found here. It looks as if it is going to be a very exciting year for us and FamilySearch. I am particularly interested to see that browse images will be made available via the FamilySearch catalogue before indexing has been undertaken. This will be as good as going to a Family History centre and looking at a reel of film as we used to in years gone by. I am going to fully participate in RootsTech February 298 – March 3 from the comfort of my sofa and laptop. I’ll let you all know as soon as the details of online viewing is made available. I think all genealogists are very thankful to the LDS Church who fund the FamilySearch website, Family History Centres and the marvellous Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.
I have put a few comments from me in in red. If you have any comments please add them at the bottom of this post.
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