Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Amazing Progress in Research Tools

There are other posts on the internet that talk about the New FamilySearch program, but I just have to add my two cents about how amazing it is - and will continue to become.

In 2007, the LDS Church (who has helped preserve so many records it's ridiculous!) started testing a new version of their FamilySearch.org site. Right now it's called New FamilySearch, but eventually it will replace the current site. It is pretty awesome. The New FamilySearch combines all of the information in the International Genealogical Index (IGI), Ancestral File, and Pedigree Resource File, and will eventually allow for searching in Censuses and other records...all in one shot.

Not only does it streamline the search process, but everything is in a family tree format, so when you find your ancestors in another family tree, you can link it up with your own and contact the person that added that information. If you realize you've made a mistake, you can always un-link it later. What makes this so beautiful is that it is not only going to be available in the U.S. - it is currently rolled out in almost every country in the world! So one day, I fully expect to make contact with some very, very distant cousin in Germany who has linked up their family tree with mine.

One other advantage: it is internet-based, so you don't have to worry about your computer crashing and losing all of your family history information. It currently does not have the capability to add photos or to download a GEDCOM (if, unfortunately, you DO lose all of your family history info on your computer), but I believe that is coming. There are all sorts of features that the Church is developing, and you can check them out at labs.familysearch.org.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love the new site too!