12 Things You Will See from FamilySearch in 2016

January 12, 2016  - by 
12 Things to Expect from FamilySearch

FamilySearch is headed towards another innovative year as it streamlines online accessibility and provides increased family discovery experiences. New developments in 2016 will focus on 5 areas.

Family Tree


Here are 12 new FamilySearch.org changes and additions patrons can expect in 2016:

  1. The free Family Tree, used for building and collaborating on your family history, will be more robust and dramatically faster. Patrons will receive quick record hints from FamilySearch’s billions of online records when records containing an ancestor are added or modified. Hints will also begin to originate from more online collections and additional record types. In addition, increased collaboration options with improved views will be available.
  2. Improved guidance will help users achieve family history goals or provide direction when and where they need it.
  3. A new relationship feature will enable you to easily identify how you are related to people in the Family Tree.
  4. More user-friendly search capabilities will provide less duplication, better search results, and more insight at a glance across the many record sources on FamilySearch.org.
  5. The process of adding family photos, stories, documents, and audio files will be easier.
  6. A dynamic, personalized home page will help you find more family information. The offering of simple tasks while using the site will help you discover more ancestors and improve the quality of your personal family history and information in the FamilySearch Family Tree.
  7. Partners will be offering more exciting third-party products and apps integrated into the content of FamilySearch that will offer fun and enriched experiences.
  8. More digital camera teams will be added to preserve historic records and make them accessible online. There are 319 digital camera teams producing 125 million images per year currently. Additional cameras in 2016 will focus on more international records.
  9. More mobile apps on IOS and Android platforms will become available through FamilySearch.
  10. A new, web-based tool will allow more volunteers to help index more historic records online from any web-enabled tablet or computer. This will also help engage more foreign language volunteers needed to index a growing tide of new international historic records.
  11. RootsTech, a global event hosted by FamlySearch, will expand its streaming audience and provide recorded, useable content to reach more people worldwide.
  12. New developments will encourage younger patrons to participate in family history. Building from the base created by family historians and older patrons, there will be an added emphasis on attracting youth.

Steve Rockwood, president and CEO of FamilySearch International, said, “We want to give youth a much earlier and much more relevant experience than ever before. We have a real specific desire to give youth a connection to their family, to provide spiritual and emotional help to them that strengthens their relationships with their parents and grandparents to give them identity. For example, we have seen tremendous growth in youth when they discover the stories of their ancestors.”

Rockwood feels FamilySearch has only just reached the tip of the iceberg with its successes. “We hope to shine a light on the life-changing nature of family history so our patrons personally experience the emotion, understanding, and joy that comes from discovering family, both past and present. Our areas of focus in 2016 will encourage families to work together more to make connections that touch our hearts and fill our lives with a sense of heritage and purpose.”

Rockwood believes RootsTech, with its streamed and recorded content in multiple languages, and the growing number of local family discovery day events, is one way FamilySearch can, as a nonprofit organization, meet the needs of more individuals in local areas throughout the world.

“We love RootsTech because it is a gathering place that brings our customers and partners together. It helps inspire us collectively to see how we can work together to grow the market space worldwide and really improve the discovery experiences of patrons on a local level. That’s a huge, huge global challenge we’re excited to tackle,” Rockwood concluded.

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  1. Llamando al teléfono de su zona el Servicio Técnico BOSCH Alcorcón envia a un técnico a su domicilio en menos de 20 minutos, y SIN cobrarle el desplazamiento. Disponemos de técnicos especializados en la reparación de lavavajillas Bosch, reparación de frigoríficos Bosch y reparación de lavadoras Bosch, entre otros electrodomésticos, técnicos que sabrán solucionar cualquier problema avería. Realizamos la reparación de lavadoras Bosch el mismo día que sea solicitada por el cliente.

  2. Trying to find my fathers mom and dad
    but know luck. My fathers name is
    william c. Baker. And I, m trying to find my grandparents.they are native american
    cherokee indian

    1. My experience with family search has been that I had to enter all the information (names, dates of birth, dates of death, etc) and create new profiles for myself, my parents and grandparents, but around the great-grandparent stage is where I started getting matches and was able to use those matches. It helped that my mother and great-grandmother had already done extensive research on their ancestors. I think finding native americans would prove very difficult.

  3. I would like to use FamilySearch for my family tree. I signed up years ago but never started a family tree. How do I set up my TREE?

      1. You don’t actually set up an entire tree here. The tree is one big universal tree floating in the WIKI universe and everybody works on the same huge tree.

        That said, the tree does not show living people. This is for privacy and safety. So when you get your account, you will show up all by yourself on the screen. You will need to enter by hand your husband or wife, your children, and your parents – your grandparents, too, if they are living. You will be the only one who can see these people.

        When you fill in the first relative who is connected to you but no longer living on the earth, you will automatically be connected to everyone who lived before them – as long as their relatives have been entered at some point by someone else.

        At this point, you have to be very careful. You don’t want to duplicate names that have already been entered into this one gigantic tree – so make sure that you check for duplicates before you go further than the people who show up automatically.

        This is actually a very complicated program and every change you make to information you find already in the tree, you change it for every person in the world. So please take time to read the tutorials before you change anything – and find your local LDS Family History Center where there will be people who can sit beside you and help you get used to the way this things works.

  4. Are Family Search wanting volunteers to help update records in July. I received an email and want to check to make sure it is not a scam before I download the software onto my computer

  5. I have a comment regarding “More digital camera teams will be added to preserve historic records and make them accessible online”. In February I noticed that the two towns in Sicily that I research, Valguarnera, EN, and Enna, EN had cameras icons. I was able to research online at the FHL. In June the cameras disppeared. Now, I can no longer view online. When will they appear again? and why were they taken away? Thank you for your help

  6. Dear Sir/Madam

    As of today (25 July 2016) I cannot login to my free family search account, it says the browser I am using is no longer supported (IE11)on windows 7…the webpages are not displayed as before …only text along the left side of the page??? has there been an update to your webpages in the last week? I really need to access your services for my Family Tree research.

    1. This is probably not the place to post to get help. When you go to the website, you will find contact info that can connect you to people who know the technology and can help you.

  7. I’m sorry if this is duplicated. But this is probably not the place to find technical help. When you go to the web site I think you can find links that will connect you to support.

  8. I would like my Family Tree to remain my tree without others constantly changing the hard work I have put into it. I am constantly facing changed ancestral lines when others are merging their files, which often contain incorrect information, with mine and essentially deleting all my hard work. There can be many errors in what some people have added and it would be really nice if I had my own space. I am not opposed to people copying what I have done into their own tree, but to change mine completely is simply wrong. At the very least, there should be an “I would like to merge my files with yours” option that may alleviate the issue with people actively using the site. Otherwise, I would like to be able to backup what I am doing on a regular basis so that if anyone changes my Tree with incorrect information, I have some way of recreating it elsewhere.

    1. I think many people agree with you and that is why many other genealogy sites work in a similar way to this. FamilySearch is always trying to decrease the frustrations you expressed here but we find value in having a living collaborative “wiki” tree.

    2. I think we just need to realize that this site is NOT that kind of site. Ancestry is the place to go if you want to put up your own tree and make it private – and proprietary. THIS site is a wiki, and must remain a wiki – it’s a collective work – and while there are people who don’t think things through – or even learn the nature of the work – who mess it up for the rest of us, it’s also a collaborative work. We benefit from the family stories and research of others. I have been working with several 5th cousins building our line. And I maintain it by paying constant attention. Changes made to your line that are undocumented or even just plain stupid (and there have been many such in my line) can be fixed within the program without a terrible amount of time and trouble if you learn to use the tools that are in place for just this reason. The function of the site is extremely sophisticated and powerful – but you do have to take the time to learn how to use the tools. The point of this is shared research. NOTHING should be posted in this site unless there is documentation, unless it’s accompanied with sources and proof. But people don’t respect that sometimes. It’s like the US – there is great freedom here, and to protect it, we have to put up with people who don’t exercise responsibility or even courtesy.

      1. It’s enough work to build the trees and enter all the data, I don’t have time to constantly correct entries that I’ve previously made when others erroneously
        change things.. Such a waste of time.

    3. One of the improvements that should be mandatory is, contributors should have to request to make changes of other contributor’s input. Currently, it is far to easy for individuals to make changes to someone’s hard work without knowing that they are destroying the current records that have been sourced and documented. I have seen this happen far too often in the past few weeks and I am refusing to enter anymore data on Family Search until this is corrected. Yes, the access is free, but at what cost.

  9. Can I share pictures, stories of LIVING relatives with other family members on familysearch or do I need to share it with them outside of familysearch and then they would need to add it themselves to their familysearch page?

  10. Hello,I would like to add people from Mexican 1930 census to my family tree.
    Could you please give me assistance.
    Thank you

    1. When you are in the Family Search application, look up in the right hand top corner and you will see a “HELP” place. Click on that, and you can find someone to help you with this.

  11. I LOVE that trees cannot be made private, but I would give my right arm to not have others able to make changes my tree. I have someone who has made so many changes to my line (which is the sibling of her direct line ancestor) including my parents. I correct them, she changes them back… Over and over again. Despite numerous attempts to contact her she does not respond, just keeps making changes. I no longer use family search except when I need to submit information for ordinances. The old saying is true, too many cooks spoil the stew.

    1. I love Family Search and will continue to use it for research, but am not going to build my trees here anymore. I just went to add another branch and discovered that there was no tree for me. A distant relative who doesn’t not respond to my messages had taken all my entries and made them hers and mine have disappeared, not totally but many of them. And I’m the person who had done 30 plus years of research, has dug deeply in order to make sure what I post is accurate. I’m happy to share with people, have no problems working things out with people, but on my third attempt to work things out with a currently unknown relative, I’m stymied. Again, the Wiki format would be lovely if people were well behaved, but it seems that not everyone is. I’m not using Geni for that very reason.

    2. I’d call Salt Lake immediately and give them her user number. She has NO RIGHT to be absolute and not contact you and work this out. She needs to give sources and document proof or back off. The chances are you are working with either a very young or very old person. Maybe give it a week or two and then go back and make your changes. So sorry you are pulling your hair out – I know the feeling, believe me.

        1. What are the exact steps to start a watch list?
          I can’t find good instructions, the “button”, nor “views”.
          Is this option only open to LDS members?
          Or is the Beta not open to everyone yet?
          Would love some help.

          1. You have to be a registered member, but not necessarily and LDS member. Registration is free. On the top of each person’s page is their name. Under that are the “View Tree” icon and next to that the ‘Watch” button. Click on the “Watch” and it turns black, meaning you’ll be notified of any changes (once a week)

          2. The watch list is very simple. On every person page, and on every one of those little pop-up summaries of a person, there’s a little star. You click on the star, and that person is put on your watch list. When people make changes to your list (anything from just cleaning up date form to deleting someone), you will be informed in a weekly email. But if you aren’t a serious researcher – by that, I mean if you are not proving every relationship with multiple documents that are actually applicable to the person in question (I find SO many inappropriate docs attached to people – some of which could actually DISprove the point), don’t bother to do it. When you are told that somebody has messed with your family, the process of undoing the damage is VERY laborious, and you have to have really good software on your own computer and carefully laid out notes even to FIND the person, much less know what you need to correct and what to correct it TO.

          3. Thanks, I didn’t know that I could report her. I have found that posting the original document has calmed her down when she corrects erroneously. Of course, not all documents are accurate. My grandmother’s brother has his birth year listed erroneously in his social security records. It suggests that he was born a year after his mother died. I can prove the accurate year via the newspaper records. And did so for the Butte Archives in Montana.

  12. Hello I am Vanessa and had an assignment to find my ancestors if possible unfortunately I couldn’t I gave all of the information possible date of birth, death, where person was born, where person passed away and I still could not find anything whatsoever I was wonder why and if someone could help me with that. Thank you

  13. I don’t care what they did in 2016. I care about the mess they made on 5 Feburary 2020. What mess? Family Search just screwed up big-time by HIDING their Search function. It used to be readily accessible at the top of the page. Just this morning, it DISAPPEARED from that location. The space where it used to be is blank. Non-functional. WASTED. So what did they do with it, you might as? Well, they have HIDDEN it in the ‘stack.’ One can only puzzle over the lack of brain cells that prompted a change that shifts the accessibility from ONE click to THREE separate mouse clicks. There is NO GOOD REASON for doing it. Why is this generally done? To “clean up the view.” Seriously? Someone really needs their heads and priorities examined. I mean, really. I thought we were supposed to be finding and linking up families. WHY would they purposefully modify the program to hinder that? Did someone need to come up with a reason to keep their programming job? PUT IT BACK at the top of the page, readily accessible. ASAP.

    1. Juli, the search bar just recently got updated so there might have been a small glitch. It is up now! Hopefully this helps.