Thursday, 6 January 2011

New FamilySearch not much fun

The new FamilySearch website ( is now well and truly online, and it is fair to say that to many it has gone down like a lead balloon. The original website is still available via a link at the bottom of the page, though for how long remains open to question. It can be accessed directly at

The new site itself hosts a PDF based list at showing comparisons between the old site and the new site. Much is now missing, including the 1881 and 1851 census indexes for England and Wales, the ability to search by batch numbers and to narrow down searches by geographic filters. The IGI also no longer exists - it has been carved up, with the extracted records placed online but not its patron submitted entries.

TNA's Audrey Collins has a useful blog post on her findings of the new site at, concerning her experiences on geographic based searches, and the Ancestry Insider is providing a series of posts on changes to the site at

FamilySearch's blog states that many improvements are to come in the following months. Let's hope so.

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Audrey Collins said...

Thanks for the mention, Chris. We can but hope! I expect this will be a major subject under discussion at the Rootstech conference in Salt Lake City next month. It will be worth following what the various official bloggers there have to say. I'll be there too, and I'll report back anything of note on my blog.

Chris Paton said...

Let us know how it goes Audrey!


Debbie Kennett said...

I have been assured on Twitter by one of the LDS people working on the New Family Search site that the old site will not be removed until a facility has been implemented to search by batch on the new site.

Chris Paton said...

Thanks Debbie, that makes a lot of sense!

You can actually do searches at parish level for Scotland via the Origins Network, which utilises the batch numbers, it would be sad to see that facility fail as it is extremely useful (as is the equivalent on Hugh Wallis's site).


Anne said...

I have found that there is a way to get to the census.

On the home page - go down to search by location. Click Europe, then, in the list on the left, click United Kingdom. A little way down the list is England and Wales census 1881.

Hope this helps,

Chris Paton said...

Thanks Anne,


Carol McI said...

Not much fun - It is positively depressing. Thank goodness the original is still there - it is excellent

Chris Paton said...

I feel your pain!