Monday, April 18, 2011

The Updated www.FamilySearch.org

(December 2010)

In December 2010, the main FamilySearch website was changed. The former beta.familysearch.org became the new gateway for doing web searches. For some time, the beta site had become the destination for the results of indexing projects. It also became the destination of un-indexed (browsable) image collections, that can be viewed like a series of pages on a microfilm ... which is exactly what they are. i.e. The film is digitized and catalogued but without a detailed index (If you know the place and approximate date of an event, you can usually find it within minutes. But without this information you may not find it or you may, but it will take a long time.)

The databases at www.FamilySearch.org are a work in progress.

It is definitely the place to search for new record sets, but for older record sets, better access is available on the old FamilySearch.org website. To get there, click to blue link on right-hand side of the home page, the link that says “Go to previous site”. Then click on Advanced Search or Search Records menu > Advanced Search, to view the familiar searches:

All Resources
Ancestral File
Census for 1880/1881 USA / Britain / Canada
International Genealogical Index
Pedigree Resource File
US Social Security Death Index
Vital Records Index for Scandinavia and Mexico

Items from the old site will continue to be added to the updated site, but at the present time, the following are not available on the updated site:

International Genealogical Index patron submissions
Ancestral File pedigrees (only individual details are viewable), no GEDCOM downloads
Census for 1881 Britain
Pedigree Resource File

The new site has the remaining items, classed in two categories:

Historical Records, includes census, parish records (including IGI), vital records, passenger lists, browsable images ... lots of new records!

Family Trees presently consists of individual records from Ancestral File.

The remaining information from the old site will eventually be added. Access to census images from affiliates is also supposed to be added when we are signed-in, but is not currently available.

You can select a database to search, or do a general Advanced or Basic search. Wildcards are accepted.


This information comes from the electronic publication “Adjusting to the new version of www.FamilySearch.org (8 December 2010)” from FamilySearch

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