What’s New on FamilySearch: October-November

December 1, 2014  - by 

In the past two months FamilySearch has releases several new features. Some of them are important features for all who use FamilySearch. Some of the changes are more subtle and will hardly be noticed. Below we will recap some of the important changes that have taken place in the past few months.



Audio Capabilities in Memories and Family Tree

The Memories feature in FamilySearch.org and Family Tree now supports uploading and playing audio files.

Under the Memories tab in FamilySearch.org, you can see all the audio files you have uploaded, including those uploaded through the FamilySearch Tree or FamilySearch Memories mobile apps.










To listen to a file, click the file. You will see the playback controls and the other familiar Memories options.










In Family Tree, you will see a new Audio link under the Memories tab.







All users can see the audio files that have been attached to an ancestor. All users may upload new audio files. Currently, you can record new audio files only with the mobile apps. Later, this functionality will be added to FamilySearch.org.

Text Messaging Can Now Be Used for FamilySearch Registration and Recovery

You can provide your cell phone number as part of your FamilySearch registration or add the number to your profile if you already have an account. This means FamilySearch.org can send you a text message if you need to do the following:

  • Reset your password.
  • Recover your username.
  • Verify your FamilySearch account.

This feature is also very helpful for users who do not have an email account. Currently, 56 countries are supported by text messaging for registration and recovery.

This diagram shows the process of resetting a password using text messaging.
















Location-Specific Research Pages

When you click Search at the top of a FamilySearch.org screen, a world map appears. Now when you select a location on the map, you see a research page for that location. The page lists resources in FamilySearch.org for that location. The initial release includes links to five types of data: indexed historical record collections, image-only historical collections (collections that have not been indexed), courses in the Learning Center, the FamilySearch catalog, and the FamilySearch Wiki. Additional research resources will be added in the future.















Why Is It Important?

FamilySearch offers many valuable tools that help people find information about their ancestors. However, some tools are difficult to find on the website, and when you do find them, you have to do an additional search to find the resources for the location you need. The location-specific page makes it easier to find the resources for the location.

People’s Roles More Clearly Identified in the Record Details

Users were often confused when they searched for an ancestor and FamilySearch.org showed them a record that mentioned the ancestor but was not directly about the ancestor (for example, when a search result showed a daughter’s birth certificate).

The record details page has been changed to help you see more clearly how the person you searched for is connected to the record.


















Coming Soon

New Indexing Program

A new version of the indexing program is coming that will be integrated in FamilySearch.org. Volunteers will be able to check out and complete indexing batches directly through the FamilySearch.org website, which removes the need to download and install a desktop application. Because the new program is browser-based, volunteers will be able to index on tablet devices in addition to traditional laptop and desktop computers. The new indexing program will be more convenient and accessible. It will also include many improvements for volunteers and administrators that will make the indexing experience more enjoyable and productive.


















Why Is It Important?

The new indexing program will help encourage more volunteers, make better use of their time, and improve the overall quantity and quality of records added to the searchable database.

Where to Find the New Indexing Program after It Is Released

Not everyone will have access to the new indexing program at once. When you are invited to try the new program, here is how you get to it:

  1. Sign in to FamilySearch.org.
  2. Click Indexing at the top of the page. The indexing pages include the following menu options: Overview, Find a Project, Help Resources, and My Indexing (where you can check out batches, join groups, read messages, and so on).

Improvements to the Feature That Transfers Information to Family Tree from Your My Family: Stories That Bring Us Together Booklet

During November, updates will be made to the feature that allows users to transfer information to Family Tree from their My Family: Stories That Bring Us Together booklets. A number of improvements will be delivered in several releases during the month.

Speed and Flow

The speed of the tool will improve. Loading information and adding it to Family Tree will be faster.


  • More explanations for users have been added about creating a digital record, finding matches in Family Tree, and adding new information to the tree.
  • In response to user feedback, the children and sibling pages have been rewritten.










Mobile Devices

The feature to transfer the information will be available for mobile devices (both tablets and smart phones). This extends the ability to transfer the information to many users who access the Internet through mobile devices. We will ensure that all of the pages in the feature will display and function properly.

Mass Copy

If ancestors in your booklet are already in Family Tree, you can now copy their information in one action into the online version of the booklet. This feature saves you time and lets you focus on adding photos, stories, and new people.












Additional Languages

The feature to transfer the information will be available in additional languages: Armenian, Dutch, Fijian, Hungarian, Khmer, Mongolian, Swedish, Samoan, Thai, Tongan, and Ukrainian. These additional languages will help patrons who speak these languages to have a better experience transferring their information from printed booklets to Family Tree.















PDF Output

You will be able to put your online booklet into a PDF so that it can be printed or shared with others.
















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  1. No termino de asombrarme con la velocidad en que se presentan nuevas herramientas; son muy valiosas en nuestro diario trabajo. Gracias.

    1. Translation of above comment: No end to amaze me with the speed at which new tools are presented; they are very valuable in our daily work. Thank you.

  2. When will Stake Indexing Directors be able to test the new indexing website? Will I be able to use it with my tablet?

    1. The tablets I know are supported so far are the iPad, the Nexus, and the Kindle Fire. They are working on supporting more. A letter will be sent out when the website is available.

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