The new version of www.FamilySearch.org, which launched in Australia today, makes family history research more interactive with a pedigree chart into which new data can be added and easily manipulated. It is also conveniently collaborative, with added social media, photo and story elements that create a more personal family history experience for each user.
Each user can upload as many as 5,000 photos and each story can be up to 100 pages long.
“FamilySearch has billions of on-line records which are being added to every day,” he said. “Coupled with the more than 900 million names already submitted by online users, people will be able to quite quickly create personal pedigrees that connect them to family and other users around the country and the world.”
Individuals can now work together with others online to build their family tree, compile and share family photos and stories, create interactive fan charts and access 24-7 online and phone assistance.
The site’s enhancements seek to broaden family history’s appeal to those who don’t consider themselves researchers or genealogists, especially youth who are masters of digital realms such as social media.
“People are sharing what they’re doing from day to day, what they’re interested in, and friends and family are finding that interesting and sharing their own thoughts. All of that is family history, but we’ve not had some of the tools at FamilySearch to help people make those ancestral connections where they can be inspired and motivated by it.”
That is, until now. FamilySearch’s new features are described below.
Family Tree enables individuals to collaborate to build, manage and share family history online. Users will discover information submitted by other users in their family line among the more than 900 million names already submitted by online users.
Patrons also have access to billions of names on FamilySearch.org to help fill in missing branches on the tree. Family Tree also includes a click-and-drag feature that allows users to seamlessly move up, down and side to side and zoom in and out within a pedigree chart.
Photos and Stories
The Photos and Stories options allow users to preserve photos and stories of ancestors. With photos, faces can be identified and then linked to the respective ancestors’ profiles in a user’s family tree. Photos and stories can also be seamlessly shared via Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and email. Each user can upload as many as 5,000 photos (with five-megabyte-per-image limit), and each story can be up to 100 pages long.
According to FamilySearch CEO Dennis Brimhall, photos and stories matter, because they “personally teach us time-honoured principles from those who have gone on before us, like the value of hard work, dealing with life’s ups and downs and the impact of choices.”
Interactive Fan Chart
Interactive fan charts present one’s ancestry lines in a colourful wheel, with the user at the centre. Each layer of the wheel represents a different generation, and the wheel extends out to as many as six generations if such information is available. Fan charts can be used in a variety of ways.
Family Tree Wizard
This feature is for family history novices. Family Tree Wizard asks new users questions about living and deceased ancestors and then builds connections into the family tree.
Live Help Page
FamilySearch has created a global online community that provides free product help and personal research assistance by phone and web chat all day, every day. The website will be available in nine other languages, including Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Chinese, Japanese and Korean.