Tags: family tree

Renee Zamora

"new FamilySearch" Rumors of Preparations to Roll

I really wanted to go the UVPAFUG Monthly Meeting today and listen to the presentation on World Vital Records. I am having car troubles and will be Skyping the meeting if everything goes well. At least I will get a copy of the meeting on DVD later so I can see their screen shots. Skype just needs to have good video options.

Well, that wasn't what I wanted to write about today. I wanted to give a little information on "new FamilySearch". First have you noticed that everyone is starting to use the acronym "NFS" to stand for "new FamilySearch"? It is so much easier and I will be using that acronym for it too. You can actually google "NFS" and get the right results for it. Keep that in mind if you want to search the web for what others are saying about NFS.

Have I teased you long enough? You really just want me to get to the rumors don't you. You want to know when NFS is coming to a temple district near you?Collapse )
Renee Zamora

NFS Observation and Prediction

For those of us that have been doing genealogy for any length of time, and have very neat and well maintained genealogy databases the process of using "new FamilySearch" (NFS) seems like we are going back to the dark ages. You have so much combining and organizing of your families to do in this system. The system doesn't work as efficiently as our personal genealogy software programs do. Some seasoned researcher have concerns over people messing up their records and "stealing" their family history work.

BUT, to those that have never done genealogy (newbies) they will look at this as their way of finally doing genealogy, painlessly and from the convenience of their own homes. I watched my sister-in-law get so excited about genealogy when she sat and combined her family members together. (The key is to instruct them on what is a "good" match.) She could sit for hours just matching and combining her family members, a lengthly and frustrating project for me. Afterwords she felt a great sense of having done something - a feeling of Elijah. She heart was definitely turned to her fathers.

The "newbies" to genealogy will become the saving grace of this system. They will be the ones to share and contact other researchers to do more work on their lines and prevent duplication. I'm afraid I hear comments from more seasoned researchers that they don't intend on contributing all their information to NFS, only those names they want to clear and do temple work for. This will defeat the whole purpose of the system.

We will have to wait for the new generation to take over before this system mets it's full potential. The advancement of newer technology - the FamilySearch desktop project using FamilySearch API will have to be on-line and working before the more seasoned researcher will be convinced to use NFS. By the time the "newbies" to genealogy realize what real researching means they will be blessed to have the FamilySearch Scanning results on-line to access.

Just seeing the response by the youth in doing FamilySearch Indexing alone shows us how technology, the youth and those open to new ideas are the hope for the future. (Hopefully we all can fall into one of those categories!)

See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day!

Note: I will try to follow up with more observation on my beta test experience as time allows.
Renee Zamora

Evaluators Needed for the New FamilySearch.org Website

I received the following email from FamilySearch Support of the LDS Church today. They are looking for volunteers to beta test future versions of "new FamilySearch". You do not need to be LDS to volunteer. They are trying new and innovative technologies on this site. You can see some of the upcoming technology at their site at http://labs.familysearch.org/. If you wish to sign up please follow the directions given in their email. If you send me your request I won't be able to sign you up. As always you can leave comments about this post on my blog.

Renee Zamora

Request for Family History Consultants to Find Evaluators for the New FamilySearch.org Website

The FamilySearch evaluation team in the Family and Church History department invites you to help us find English-speaking individuals who can help evaluate the new FamilySearch.org website. We need to contact individuals interested in family history, including you, but ESPECIALLY those new and inexperienced in family history to spend an hour of their time. We will be testing new and future design ideas not seen on the current beta version of the FamilySearch.org website.

Since those who naturally enjoy family history work will likely be the type of person to volunteer, we ask a special effort be made to invite individuals you know that are new to family history or are inexperienced. We need them to help determine if the website is clear and easy to use.

Please email the letter below to your family, friends and LDS Church members over age 18. You may also post the letter in your Church building or family history center.

We appreciate your willingness to help. If you have any questions please send an email to the address below.

FamilySearch Evaluation Team

Family and Church History Department


Email this letter to those who may be interested in evaluating the new FamilySearch:

Dear LDS Church Members and Friends,

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is developing a new version of the FamilySearch.org website. This new website will help members identify ancestors, link them to families, and provide temple ordinances for them.

Can you volunteer an hour of time to help evaluate this new website? Do you know someone else who might be interested? We need feedback to make the final website as easy and enjoyable to use as possible. We are especially interested in feedback from individuals who are new to family history work.

Anyone over age 18 interested in participating in this evaluation should go to:


Thank you for your interest and enthusiasm. We greatly value your time and opinion.


FamilySearch Evaluation Team

Family and Church History Department

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Renee Zamora

Beta 2 Tester Panic!

YIKES!!! I just learned that beta 2 testing of "new FamilySearch" is scheduled to shut down TODAY. I had heard Saturday. I was informed a few minutes ago that they don't have enough people working Saturday to do the shut down then. Oh, my gosh, I'm not ready to give it up. I need to do more testing of the system. I am in a beta 2 tester panic. FamilySearch please reconsider and shut down Monday!
Renee Zamora

Better Glean What You Can Now BEFORE "new FamilySearch"

You know how you work on something and a while later you have gone down a totally different path and discover something new? Well I just did that.

I was looking on one of my favorite New York websites - http://www.genealogybuff.com/ny-glenfalls/. It lists obituaries found in the Glens Falls Post Star, in Warren County, NY. It's not a complete list but it's amazing what I will find there. After playing around for a long time I thought - Oh, I should look up my second cousin's wife Christine's obituary and see if it is there. Sadly she died young in 2000. Well lo and behold there was her obituary, even though she died in Salt Lake City, Utah. The extended family still lived in Warren Co., NY and had placed the obituary in the local paper.

Now what this did for me was resolve a question I had had about her. Since I was ill around the time she died I hadn't faithfully entered her information in my database. I really didn't want to call up my cousin now and say "When did your wife die and tell me all her personal info?" I'm sure it would of been a good bonding moment for cousins but I was a chicken about hitting a sore spot since he hasn't remarried yet. I was lucky that this part of my extended family had also joined the LDS Church. I had looked Christine up several months ago on the IGI and thought I had found her but it said she was born in Alaska. I hadn't heard that as part of her story so I wasn't sure if I had the right person. It told me her parent's names but I couldn't recall if that's what her parents names where or not. Unfortunately it didn't list a spouse's name on the IGI.

Since I just found her listed with her maiden and married name on the obituary website I though now I can confirm those dates with the IGI. Well yes it was a match so now I had all the info I wanted. But I thought let's see what "new FamilySearch" says about her record. Lo and behold I discovered her all alone with no parents, just a single individual. You see "new FamilySearch" protects living individuals information, since her parents and spouse are living they don't appear on her record. It made me realize that once "new FamilySearch" is in place all that lovely kind of recent information on parents and spouses will be gone. That's really sad I want that information, especially when determining if temple work needs to be done or not. I had been so busy earlier getting my database ready for upload to "new FamilySearch" I never thought of the information I needed to gather off the "old" FamilySearch before ALL living individuals information is suppressed. Makes you kind of think what else do I need to consider before "new FamilySearch" goes on line? Well I better get back to work and glean what I can, while I can.

See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day!
Renee Zamora

Research Forums Beta Testing

For those of you that applied to beta test the Research Forums on "new FamilySearch" you will be happy to know you haven't been passed over. I received the following email from FHC-RESEARCHSUPPORT.

Dear Research Forums Beta tester,

Thanks for signing up to test forums in the new FamilySearch Help Center. Research forums will not be deployed in Beta 2. We are now developing a set of tools that will offer increased functionality for customers to obtain research advice. Policy prevents us from projecting a release date, but be assured that we will contact you as soon as the system is ready for testing.


Michael Ritchey
Manager, Research Support
Renee Zamora

Still Beta Testing

I just learned that some members of the UVPAFUG have just received their invitation to "new FamilySearch" beta 2. They also received Challenge #5 along with the rest of us. I am really surprised that these invitations are coming out so late! I hope that means beta 2 will hang around for many more weeks for us.

I didn't mention in my earlier article that the Forums are missing from the "Help Center" in beta 2. I have no idea why they are not there or why the Forums are not currently being beta tested? It would appear that there is still hope that some of you will eventually get involved in the Forums beta testing. [I offered you the chance to sign up to beta test the Forums many months ago.]

What I am currently working on for you is some screen captures of the beta testing. I know you are all so interested in what it looks like. Please be patient as I get things ready to share with you.

What I do have for you is a PDF copy of one of the Help Guides - "Introduction to New FamilySearch". The LDS Church has worked hard at making such wonderful "Overviews and Guides" to help everyone learn what "new FamilySearch" is and how to use it.

I have noticed that the "Overviews and Guides" seem to be missing information on the new feature "Individual Map". I am speculating that it must be such a late edition to the beta test that they didn't have a chance to get it into their "Help Guides". The "Individual Map" can be a little buggy at times too. "Individual Maps" use Google Maps to show all the geographical locations of family and personal events that took place during someone’s life time. Great research feature! I'm personally glad they started beta 2 when they did even if some things aren’t ready to go live. It just makes me wonder how long of a wait we will have after beta 2 before everything is fixed and ready to be time released to temple districts around the world.

Well I hope this PDF will help bring you a little taste of what is in store someday for all of us.

See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day!
Renee Zamora

Multiple FamilySearch Beta Test Emails

Some of you that expressed interest in participating in the next round of beta testing of the "new FamilySearch" site might of received multiple invitations. The Church has had a problem with their invitation list and some individuals were sent multiple messages. If you have received the request to take the survey you only need to complete it once no matter how many times you receive the initiation. They have apologized for any difficulties this has caused you. We should be getting an update on the status of the beta testing shortly.

One word of note: Some of you might of signed up for more than one beta test. There is the beta test for the "Tree" portion of "new FamilySearch" and there is the "Research Forums" portion. So watch closely on which email you are receiving. I received two different types of emails and I am not sure which is for which. There is also a third beta test program called Family Finder that is coming up. I just need to get permission to write on it. I will let you know when I get more information to share.

See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day.
Renee Zamora

"new FamilySearch" Beta Test Survey

Well it's Monday morning and I just received my invitation to sign up for the "new FamilySearch" beta test. Of course I had to take a survey to see if I meet their criteria. I remember when the first beta test ended how they were encouraging us to help them find "newbies" or those who have never done family history research before. So I am not sure "yet" if I will qualify for beta two. I just wanted you to know that some action seems to be moving in the wind. I will let you know if I receive anything else.

See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day!
Renee Zamora

I Wonder Who Will Invent This?

I've been spending all my spare time working on getting dates for everyone in my database. I have been pleased that I haven't had to do much estimating. I stopped for a break and just read this excellent article "Finding Joy in Temple and Family History Work". It's very uplifting and reminds me of why I am doing all this work.

As I've been coming across other's genealogy work on the internet and taking benefit of the dates and places and histories they have on people a little thought keeps coming into my mind. Wouldn't it be wonderful to somehow link all these loose ends together. I've been sending little post-ems to people letting them know further information on individuals but it's getting too time consuming. It would be nice to magically link them up to the info and just keep linking everyone back up to each other. Then I realized I was thinking of just what the LDS Church is planning to do with "new FamilySearch". Creating a world family tree.

Now "new FamilySearch" will link all the individuals together that are in the Church's multiple database, i.e. IGI, Ancestral File, Pedigree Resource File, Misc. Temple Files, etc. But what I'm thinking would be wonderful is to also link individuals that are on Rootsweb/Ancestry.com, GenCircles and all the personal websites out there. Just go around creating little links and have my database go out and find them all again later. Or even have others find the links I have created. Don't know if I am explaining what I am envisioning here or not. But I would like to see some world wide linking tool for all genealogist out there. I wonder who will invent it? It seem whenever I envision something it's just around the corner. Well it's a thought. Sure can see the benefits of a world family tree now. Better get back to work.

See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day!