FamilySearch Website Update

FamilySearch has made major changes to their website. All of the changes were talked about last month at the RootsTech Conference in Salt Lake City by James Tanner and Dennis Brimhall.

The website added the capability to upload photos and stories of your ancestors. I uploaded a picture of my grandmother. After you upload the picture (either jpg or png up to 5 mb) then you get to identify the person by circling the face. Then you should described the photo. Then, if you want to, you can link the person to FS Family Tree.  After that staff from FamilySearch has to check the photo before it will be made public. Not sure how long that takes.

Stories are hidden under the Photo tab. You get a web page that has you add a title to the story and the text. It is plain text with no formatting and you can either cut and paste or type directly in the text area. I heard that a story can be quite long but there isn’t any indication of size on the website. Remember that the stories are going to be public so ypu should not include any facts about living people.

FamilySearch homepage

FamilySearch homepage

The new Fan Charts are nice looking. You can click on a name in the fan chart and it will show a fan chart for that person or go to their person data. All this information comes from the data that is in FS Family Tree so there may be incorrect data that you will have to fix. In the end, the fan chart is just a fancy method to show a pedigree.

Fan Chart

Fan Chart

FS Family Tree has added links to photos and stories so you can add those directly from there. Some of the colors on the page have changed and may be hard to read as there isn’t a big enough color contrast. Still to come for Family Tree is the ability to print a family group sheet or a pedigree sheet. Maybe those will appear next month.

The tab that is labeled “Live Help” has to changed. Under there is product support, the research wiki, videos and a place to get someone to call you on the phone with help. It might be better to label it “Get Help”  because there are so many kinds of sources.

I think that there will still be other changes made to the FamilySearch website but maybe not as big as the changes that they did this week. Everyone has their favorite part of FS and they don’t like when it is harder to find what they want. This is a very complicated website and it will always need to be making changes to keep up with their new goals.