Tags: familysearch

Renee Zamora

Tidal Wave Starting to Flood FamilySearch.org

It sure has been an exciting past couple of days. Major announcements of databases and partnership with FamilySearch are starting to surface. The exact dates for availability of these database have not been announced yet. Family History Support will be notifying the Family History Directors of each Family History Center (mostly in North America) with directions and availability. It won't be long before we will see access to:

World Vital Records (worldvitalrecords.com)
Kindred Konnections (kindredkonnections.com)
Godfrey Memorial Library (godfrey.org)
Heritage Quest Online (This has been available through most public library.)
Footnote (footnote.com) so far only the U.S. Revolutionary War Pension records have been announced.

I thought I would send you a copy of the announcements as I received them.Collapse )
Renee Zamora

The First Bite is a Good One

Revolutionary War Records Are First Fruits of New Record Services Program

FamilySearch Teams with Service Providers to Expedite Historic Records Access

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH-FamilySearch and Footnote announced today the first project of the new Records Access program-to digitize and index the historic U.S. Revolutionary War Pension records. The Record Access program helps archives and other records custodians publish their collections online. A significant collection of genealogical and historical significance will be accessible online by leveraging the resources of FamilySearch, the world's largest repository of genealogical information, with those of Footnote.

Footnote is one of the new breed of genealogy web sites working with FamilySearch to digitally preserve, index, and publish the world's records in concert with archives around the world. As part of the agreement, FamilySearch will digitize the images currently held in the National Archives Record and Administration's collection (NARA) in Washington, D.C., and Footnote will create the electronic indexes. When complete, the indexes and images will be viewable at Family History Centers and at Footnote.com. Indexes will also be available at FamilySearch.org. Numerous other national and international projects are under development at this time and will be announced as agreements are signed or data is published. To see examples of the Revolutionary War Pension Files, go to http://www.footnote.com/revolutionary-war.php.

Records custodians worldwide are experiencing growing pressure to provide access to their records online while maintaining control and ownership. At the same time, websites that provide digitizing and publishing services are struggling with the staggering costs," said Wayne Metcalfe, director of Records Services for FamilySearch. "The new Record Access program takes advantage of FamilySearch's resources and creates an economical and effective forum where records custodians and genealogy websites can work together to accomplish their respective objectives," added Metcalfe.

FamilySearch's new Records Access program provides tools and assistance to records custodians who want to publish their collection using state-of-the-art digital cameras, software, and web-based applications. FamilySearch Records Services has representatives worldwide who can work with archivists to determine how FamilySearch and affiliates can help them achieve their digital preservation and publication needs.

About FamilySearch

FamilySearch (historically the Genealogical Society of Utah) is a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. FamilySearch maintains the world's largest repository of genealogical resources accessed through FamilySearch.org, the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, and over 4,500 family history centers in 70 countries.

About Footnote, Inc.
Founded in 1997 as iArchives, Inc., Footnote is a subscription-based website that features searchable original documents that provide users with an unaltered view of the events , places and people that shaped the American nation and the world. At Footnote.com all are invited to come to share, discuss, and collaborate on their discoveries with friends, family, and colleagues. For more information, visit www.footnote.com.
Renee Zamora

Partnership between Godfrey Memorial Library and FamilySearch

I saw this announcement first posted by Dick Eastman at http://blog.eogn.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/2007/05/godfrey_memoria.html. I will be at the Family History Center tomorrow and check to see if we have access to anything yet. I am surprised that FamilySearch.org doesn't mention anything about the partnership. Maybe it's to new to have something written up yet. Since it mentions Pual Nauta I trust it's a done deal before it was mentioned on their site. I am dying to see if we have access tomorrow.

May 11, 2007

Director Richard Black is pleased to announce a partnership agreement between Godfrey Memorial Library and FamilySearch

"We are excited to include Godfrey Memorial Library to our list of premium databases or services offered throughout FamilySearch centers worldwide. They provide some premier resources that will certainly be of great value to FamilySearch center patrons," said Paul Nauta, manager of public affairs for FamilySearch. "In return Godfrey Memorial Library will significantly broaden its reach and awareness by being introduced to scores of researchers through 4500 FamilySearch facilities in over 70 countries," Nauta added.

Many new genealogical websites and services are coming online everyday, making more and more records available. FamilySearch is teaming up with these online service providers like Godfrey Memorial Library to introduce patrons to these exciting services and provide even greater online access to the world's genealogical records. These premium services are available for free in family history centers, the Family History Library and FamilySearch operated centers.

FamilySearch is committed to providing as much genealogical data as possible to its patrons quickly and economically. The accomplishment of this initiative will come in part from its own programs, and others will come from affiliations with service providers like Godfrey Memorial Library. This will allow maximum and efficient use of industry resources.

Godfrey Memorial Library can greatly increase awareness of its services through the FamilySearch public distribution channels. FamilySearch workers will innately help patrons use/become familiar with Godfrey's online services. Some limited promotion by Godfrey will be allowed to properly introduce patrons to its full range of services.

Patrons to FamilySearch facilities get access to Godfrey's databases-an otherwise fee-based online service. The FamilySearch resources are frequented by mostly enthusiasts and professional researchers; many of which may elect to subscribe personally to the services for home or remote access.

Renee Zamora

FamilySearch Server Problems

Yesterday I got an email back on a problem I had with one of the links on FamilySearch. I was trying to download the new PDF guide of helpful websites found in the 30 Apr 2007 news article "Free Online Access to Records and Information". I thought you might like to hear what they said was going on with the FamilySearch site.

"If you have been trying to get the information from a link at www.familysearch.org in the last few days, you may have fallen victim to the dreaded server sappers. We have been having a server problem that has been raising havoc with searching and viewing the site. There is currently no estimate of the time/day that stability will be regained."

That didn't sound to encouraging to me. Oh, the PDF I wanted - I was able to download it by Googling the title: "Free Online Access to Records and Information", with the quotation marks in place. I was directed to a Spanish site that had the link that worked. Isn't that just to weird! It's a nice PDF by the way.

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

Temporarily Suspended Access to FamilySearch

"Your access to FamilySearch.org has been temporarily suspended. Your computer or a computer at your location has sent a large volume of requests to FamilySearch.org and as a result access to FamilySearch.org from this location has been temporarily suspended. Usually the suspension occurs when a computer uses software to automate requesting information from FamilySearch.org from any computer in your location. If this message appears again, contact the vendor who sold you your software to obtain the latest release."

Several days ago I received the above message from FamilySearch.org. Now that I see discussions regarding it going around on the mailing lists I belong to, I thought I would tell you what I learned.

I called Family History Support (1-866-406-1830) and told them of this message. At the time I was looking at the 1880 census. I had my Legacy program up but wasn't searching the IGI with it. Was my program "secretly" accessing FamilySearch.org in the background? Something I highly doubted. They reassured me that it had nothing to do with my Legacy program.

FamilySearch.org is going through growing pains and they have found that they don't have enough server space to handle the internet load. The system is bogging down and overloaded right now. They have engineers working right now on resolving this issue. They are testing and checking people that are heavy users, doing research on a certain number of names and limiting their access. They will be bumped off the system for about 15 minutes. They need to sign off and come back into FamilySearch.org to resume their searches. So people, even if you don't think you are a heavy user there is a time limit right now as to how long you can stay signed into the system. The representative didn't have a time frame or number of searches that will trigger this incident.

The message we are receiving is generic. It was first used when FamilySearch.org had problems with the system being overloaded with PAF Insight search requests. Changes were made as to how PAF Insight accessed and used FamilySearch.org. If you are a PAF Insight user and current on the updates released the program shouldn't be causing this type of problem. When IGI search features where introduced to the RootsMagic and Legacy programs the restrictions on access were already in place.

Bottom line just be patient while they go through the growing pains. The LDS Church is working on the issues. The are sorry for the inconvenience it is causing. No time frame was given as to when this issue will be resolved.
Renee Zamora

Follow-up to Glean What You Can....

This is a follow-up to my 1 Apr 2007 article "Better Glean What You Can Now BEFORE "new FamilySearch" http://rzamor1.livejournal.com/2007/04/01/

When I stumbled on the information for my second cousin's wife on the internet I was looking to fill out information on her in my database. Since I am LDS that includes wanting to have ordinance information. When I located her birth, death and parents names in the newspaper obituary I could then determine that the information earlier looked at on the IGI was indeed her.

It appears that the biggest problem people had with my earlier article is when I mentioned the future loss of living parents names on the IGI. I said: "That's really sad I want that information, especially when determining if temple work needs to be done or not." I think the key word here is DETERMINING as in making a decision if the temple work had been done. This was not with the intention of actually doing the work once that determination was made. There are many steps that need to happen before you actually SUBMIT names for temple ordinances. Collapse )
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

Pedigree Resource File

New Press Release from FamilySearch.org

We would like to share the following press release with you:

Free Online Genealogy Database Hits 150 Million Names - also adds ability to view names in family tree format

SALT LAKE CITY - FamilySearch announced today that the Pedigree Resource File (PRF) database has reached over 150 million searchable names. Along with the milestone achievement, a new feature has been added that allows users to view genealogical and extended information for deceased individuals in a familiar pedigree (family tree) format. Users can search or contribute their personal genealogies to the free database at www.familysearch.org.

The PRF database is a popular destination for family historians seeking to find missing branches of their family tree and then preserve or share family histories online. People from around the world can submit their genealogies online at FamilySearch.org. Using a genealogy software program (such as the free Personal Ancestral File program found at FamilySearch.org), users can easily donate a copy of their personal family histories to the Pedigree Resource File. Details can be found online by clicking the Share tab on FamilySearch.org. Since its launch in 1999, the database has grown at a rate of about 19 million names a year. Today, it boasts over 150 million searchable names. To respect privacy, only information about deceased individuals is displayed online.

"Prior to this latest search improvement, users didn't always realize that there was additional information available for an ancestor found in the database. We also wanted to display search results for an individual in the more familiar context of a family tree," said Steve Anderson, Marketing Manager for FamilySearch. "This new feature allows them to do just that."

The Pedigree Resource File can be found on the advanced search page on FamilySearch.org:


FamilySearch is the public channel of the Genealogical Society of Utah (GSU), a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. FamilySearch maintains the world's largest repository of genealogical resources accessed through FamilySearch.org, the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, and over 4,500 family history centers in 70 countries.