Friday, October 7, 2011

Updates for FamilySearch and Websites

Yeah, I know, you all must be asking "What has he been up to now and why does he take such long breaks between blogs?" I have been busy again, or still, and  I only seem to be able to write when I get that urge to tell you about something that I find very interesting. I'll let the other bloggers keep you up to date on all the other stuff.

So, here is what I find interesting lately - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is continuing to update and add to their genealogy related websites. First, let's discuss what is happening at I am sure many of you have been using the free records search that is up on the site. I just read that they now have 2.34 billion indexed names and an additional 312 million records imaged but not yet indexed (browse only) on the site from all over the world. Even though this seems like a lot of records, there are still many more records that have not yet been indexed or digitized. If you would like to help add more records to this collection you can volunteer at If the records you are looking for are not yet online you can now order them online and have the microfilm delivered to your local Family History Center (FHC). It is extremely easy to place these orders. First go to and look above the search area under the heading Discover Your Family History. Then click on Catalog to begin searching for the record that you need. Alternatively you can skip the first step and go directly to to begin your search. Make sure you check the record to see if it is already in digital format or if it is already in your local FHC collection before ordering. Once you find the film number go to to begin ordering the film. Payment options include credit card or PayPal. Then you just have to wait for it to be delivered to the FHC.

That is just one of the new things on Another is the linking of some (not all) indexed records to the trees. This is applicable for some records that were used for extractions. The general public won't see this on their search pages but for those member of the LDS church, look to the right of the indexed record for a PID number. When you click on the PID# you will be taken right to the record on nFS. Is this a sign of things to come? I don't know for sure but imagine what will happen if we are able to tie the indexed record directly to a record in nFS. I was previously testing a project from BYU where we were linking people mentioned in journals to the people in nFS. Just wait until we can do that with every record currently on microfilm.

The FamilySearch Wiki ( has now been integrated into the FamilySearch format. The wiki is there to help you learn where to search for various records and to give advice. It is being added to daily so even if you don't find what you are looking for today, check back often for updates. One of the updates I just ran across was the posting for FamilySearch Research Help Communities. These communities are located on Facebook, Skype and FamilySearch Forums. The Skype Groups let you chat with others researching the same areas ( There are many groups already formed, including Mexico, Denmark, England, Finland, Germany, Poland, Ireland, Sweden, Wales, and Thailand, as well as many states in the US. Those same basic groups are also on Facebook ( Figure out which community is best for you an try it out.

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There is also a new page at directed towards getting the youth involved in family history research. You can find the site at This site has a couple introductory videos related to using and These videos are include information on why members of the LDS church do family history and some of the programs that are available for members of the church. However, anyone who is interested in learning how to use the sites will find some information and may be inspired to continue their research.