Two New Enhancements to the FamilySearch Catalog

December 31, 2013  - by 

Two recent changes have been made to the FamilySearch Catalog. These changes will improve the power of your search and increase the chances of finding exactly what you need. These enhancements include the following:

  • Place Look-up
  • The Related Places Feature Is Now in the New Catalog

Place Look-Up
When you do a place search in the old catalog, you can see a list of places that match what you enter. This is useful in many situations, such as:

  • You know that a person was born in “Franklin,” but not which Franklin. Using this feature, you can at least see the possibilities.
  • You have a record where you can read the first few letters of a place but not the rest, due to the handwriting or a great big smudge. You could use this feature to see a list of places that begin with those same letters.

The new catalog will soon have the same feature. You can use it a couple of ways:

  1. If you know the first few letters of the place-name, enter them in the field. The drop-down list still appears. But you now have an additional option, which lets you see more of the options at once.

FS Catalog Beta 1











2. Click the binoculars icon. A list of places appears.

FS Catalog Beta 2











3. Click the place you want. That place-name is added to the field for you.
4. Click Search.

You can also just click the binoculars icon, and enter a place name:

  1. Click the binoculars icon.
  2. Enter the place you want to find. If you know more than one jurisdiction, go from highest to lowest. For example, if you want all places with Franklin, you could just enter Franklin:

Look Up Franklin 3











If you want only the Franklins in Idaho, you would enter “Idaho, Franklin”:

Enter Jurisdictions 4











The Related Places Feature Is Now in the New Catalog
The FamilySearch Catalog describes books, microfilms, online images, and other resources that are available on at the Family History Library and on

You can find the catalog by clicking Search in the FamilySearch header. Then click Catalog, which is located on the Search screen’s page.

FS Catalog Beta 5









For the last few years, we have been transitioning from an older version of the catalog to a newer one. One of the most useful features that has been in the old catalog is also available in the new (or beta) catalog.

Related places is a useful feature because place-names change and governmental and other jurisdictions have changed over time, it is often helpful to be able to easily see nearby places or jurisdictions that might also have useful records.

In the new catalog, the related places are displayed automatically every time you do a place search. Here’s how:

  1. Enter the place you want to find. In this example, I’m looking for Floyd County, Kentucky. The drop-down list helps me make sure I’m selecting the correct place that is named Floyd, since there are several.

Search By 6










2. Click Search. The search results list the types of records available for Floyd County, Kentucky. Notice that the place notes and related places are right there on the same screen.

Search Results 7








3. If you don’t find the type of record you need, and you think they might be at a lower jurisdiction, such as the city or town, click the Places within… link.

In this case, I would click Places within United States, Kentucky, Floyd to see all of the available places in Floyd County.

Search Results 8







I can then click any of the place-names to see instantly what records are available for that jurisdiction.

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  1. These look like great enhancements! I’ve always found the FamilySearch Catalog to be useful in my research–so happy to see it is even better!

  2. I’ve been waiting for the related places feature to be migrated from the old catalog!! It was always very helpful. Thank you so much!

  3. The place listings should have geopolitical identifiers for when, say, “Franklin,” is a city, village, Town, Township, Borough, County. There is no need to repeat this major flaw that was built into the GEDCOM format.

  4. anyone with information on my great grandfather jacob franklin of rockwood manitoba, and his father thomas franklin of rockwood manitoba born in england.
    i would love to hear from you

  5. anyone with any information on clarence ernest brown of stonewall rockwood manitoba married my grandmother marvel franklinin stonewall manitoba,july 23, 1928 .he died 1957 and information on his father
    i think his name was chard e brown. and his place of origin ,
    i would love to hear from you