Family Search at FGS Conf.

Family Search is the genealogy website of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS; also known as the Mormons). In the exhibit hall at FGS Conference in Little Rock they had a double size booth and were handing out a sheet that had links to projects that they are working on. Plus at one luncheon, a speaker was Don R. Anderson from Family Search and he showed those links and gave us some previews of things to come.

The Family Search website hadn’t changed much over the years. One recent addition is the Pilot Search that I have been referencing over the last few months. That is where the new indexed records are being added. New records are added every week.

If you have some time on your hands and want to help index records, they are still looking for volunteers. Currently there are 100,000 volunteers indexing records from all over the world. Late news is that by the end of 2009 there will be 325 million records indexed. The best part is that all the records are available to everyone for free. It is always nice to help an organization that doesn’t charge for records. There is a link on the main Family Search page to sign up to index records.

One project that Family Search is working on is a wiki. A wiki is website allowing for the easy creation and editing of any number of interlinked Web pages (similar to Wikipedia). The best part of a wiki is that people can add to the website and make corrections over time. So the website grows from everyone’s knowledge. For now, the site is still in infancy, as there isn’t any link from the main Family Search page.

A major project that Family Search is working on is New Family Search. Currently only LDS members are allowed access to New Family Search. What it does is make family trees act as a collaboration effort. It checks the records it has and sees if any of your records are of the same person. So there shouldn’t be duplicate records of the same person. Mr. Anderson hinted that New Family Search might be available to non-LDS members before the end of 2009.

Mr. Anderson also showed parts of on-line videos that are going to be added in the future. They will be instructional videos dealing with researching in certain geographical areas or record types. These will probably be added in 2010.

Lastly, if you want previews of projects that Family Search is working on, they have a Labs page that lists the projects I have written about and a few other small projects. You can see that Family Search is moving ahead and the wait doesn’t appear to be far in the future.