Tuesday, 28 September 2010

FamilySearch soon to regenerate

More powerful than a Type 40 TARDIS, the long running FamilySearch website is about to undergo a major regeneration which will affect everyone doing family history research. One of genealogy's most useful resources is soon to pass its way into history, with its place usurped by a younger offspring...

The www.familysearch.org website is currently the host site for the International Genealogical Index, but by the end of this year, it will have ceased to be, it will have gone to meet its maker, it will be an ex-FamilySearch site, as its role is replaced by the work currently being produced for the new http://beta.familysearch.org site. This has been on the cards for some time, but the complete programme of what will change, and how and when it will do so is now available to read online at The Ancestry Insider blog at http://ancestryinsider.blogspot.com/2010/08/familysearch-in-corner.html.

Whatever people may think of the theological drive behind the work of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, it will be a brave person who can honestly say that the site has played no part ever in their research. It is quite frankly unique, and one heck of an achievement. Sadly, it is now also about to be deemed obsolete, with the torch pased to a next generation of website which it is said will enhance what is already available, and perhaps correct some of the mistakes that blighted it in the past. Whether the present site as it currently exists will ever be granted some form of vicarious baptism is for others to decide, but in any case, when the current site serves its last day and is replaced the day after, many web users will probably begin to feel just that little bit older...!

(With thanks to the Guild of One Name Studies on Twitter, and to The Ancestry Insider)


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The Professional Descendant said...

I've been occasionally using http://pilot.familysearch.org and http://beta.familysearch.org for a while now but keep on going back to good old www.familysearch.org as I seem to be able to find what I want quicker and easier, without wading through pages of results.

Guess it's time I got to grips with FamilySearch Beta though!


Chris Paton said...

Couldn't agree more. The Beta site has been improving, but the speed, simplicity, and let's face it, aesthetic feel of the current site make it feel like the right tool for the job - too much white space on the new site for my liking! There seems to be a lot of sites changing their looks for the sake of it recently, the BBC News site being a corker of an example.

But yup, for those not used to the new beta site, a little exploratory play with it is probably due asap!


Chris Paton said...

Just to add - a further useful site I recently found is http://genoot.com/downloads/BVRI2/ and - it lists details of the records found in the British Isles Vital Records Index (V2) which were recently added to the Record Search Pilot - particularly useful as it has details for many Free Church and other congregations records. Click on the numbers in blue for PDF files giving parish by parish breakdown and yearly coverage. I've actually had the BVRI disc set for a while, but until recently had no idea of the sources for most of the records it contained.