Sunday, March 31, 2013

What is where?

Reminder: at it is currently possible to watch some of the main sessions online.
At RootsTech some future changes and additions to were announced, so check for these over the next few weeks.

What is Where?

There seems to be some confusion over how and where to do searches on
I would like to take a moment to clarify this.

Below the words "Discover Your Family History", you will find these menus. (These links are live.)
1. Records is already opened, allowing you to search through primary source records that (a) have been indexed by FamilySearch, or (b) posted as browseable images by FamilySearch, or (c) indexed by commercial companies and made available on FamilySearch.
(a) These records have names that are computer-searchable, and often have original page images. Where there are page images, these can be viewed for free. This is where all the records indexed by FamilySearch are made available.
(b) These are original page images where names cannot be searched by computer, but where the images can be viewed online for free. You need to know the time and place to find specific names and events.
(c) These are indexes from companies such as Fold3,, and so the index is computer-searchable for free, but viewing the original page images is done on a paid site.

2. Genealogies is where you will find family trees submitted by patrons to Ancestral File and to Pedigree Resource File. These are fully computer-searchable.

3. Catalog is where you will search the Family History Library Catalog for microfilmed records that have not yet been digitized or indexed. If the microfilm has been digitized, there is a link (in red) to that particular data set. At present the majority of the FHL holdings are only available on microfilm film. Films rented at will be sent to the Family History Center of your choice for viewing.

4. Books allows you to read approximately 40,000 books placed online for researching families.

5. Family Tree is located on the upper menu. To use it you need to sign-in
This is where we can work together to build a family tree of humanity.
It is " described as "open-edit" and "source centeric", everyone can make changes and is expected to provide sources.
What can you find in Family Tree?
(a) It contains family trees and individual records submitted by patrons (so there is some overlap with Genealogies).
(b) It also contains the IGI (International Genealogical Index) submissions and extracted records (so there is some overlap with Records).
(c) LDS Church Membership Records for deceased individuals (useful to those researching LDS ancestors).
(d) Sources with links to original records (this is in the early stages but is building).
(e) Historical family photos (still in beta, but going public soon).
(f) Historical family stories (still in beta, but going public soon).
(g) Hidden records of millions of living people, hidden to protect their privacy.
(h) Visible records of living people you have added. (No one else can see these records. There is no way to share them with other patrons.)
(i) LDS patrons have access to a little additional information: visible records of their living parents, spouse, and children; and temple information.

So, where to search depends on what you are looking for.

Over the next few months we can expect many exciting developments: New data sets in Records, as more Indexing projects are completed; and in Family Tree, the public release of Photos and Stories, new charts, better interfaces with affiliate software programs, adjustments to the "look and feel", and so forth.

Hold onto your hats!

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