What’s New on FamilySearch—August, 2015

August 4, 2015  - by 

Each month, FamilySearch publishes a list of new changes and updates to the FamilySearch.org website. This list includes changes to Family Tree as well as other parts of FamilySearch.org. In some cases, these changes will also be published as individual articles where the need to do so exists.



Recently Released

300,000 Places Added to the Place Dictionary

As you add a place, Family Tree displays places from the place dictionary that might match what you are entering. As soon as you see the place you need in the list, you can click it, and the system fills in the rest of the location. This saves you time typing, helps you spell the name of the place correctly, and enters a complete location.

What New August





For example, if your source indicates a couple married in Rosario, Argentina, you can click the place in the list to enter a complete location.

A new and dramatically improved version of the place dictionary has been added to Family Tree. It has 300,000 additional locations. Because the new version is a web service, in the future, we can add places, and they will immediately display in the lists you see.

Updates to the Family Members Section

The Family Members section of a person’s details page has been updated to match the new Landscape view. To edit the relationships, you can click the icon that is always visible for the person. Tablet users will appreciate that the icon is always available. We also added a silhouette so that in the future, we can display portraits on this view.

What New August 2









This change is the first in a series of improvements we are making to manage relationships. Stay posted!

Adding a Child on the Landscape View

You can now add children using the landscape view.

What New August 3












  1. Under the parents’ names, click Children. An Add Child link appears at the bottom of the drop-down list.
  2. Click Add Child.
  3. Fill in the information about the child.
  4. Click Next, and follow the steps to see if the child is already in Family Tree.

Tip: If the child is in Family Tree and you know the ID number, it is faster to click Find by ID Number.

Recently Added Features on the FamilySearch Mobile App

Watch and Unwatch Toggle

What New August 4








You can be notified when another user adds or changes information or memories for a person in Family Tree. Just tap the Watch option to get notifications.

This helps keep you up to date on the information about the ancestors you are working on. When you no longer want to be notified about that person, just tap the Unwatch option.

Delete a Person

You can now delete a person you added by mistake. You can delete a person only if you added the person and you are the only contributor of information for that person.

Search Records

When you are viewing information about a person in Family Tree, tap Search Records to get a list of available records for that person. You can expand each record and search for more source information.

New Memory Artifact Notifications

You can receive notifications from FamilySearch.org when a photo, story, or audio file is uploaded or updated for people in your scope of interest. (The scope of interest is 4 generations of ancestors and 1 generation of their descendants.) On an Android device, just tap the item to view it. On an iOS device, the notifications are under the Today items.

What New August 5











Tag Photos in the iOS Tree App

You can now tag people in a photo using the iOS version of Family Tree. Previously, this was only available in the Memories app.

Manage Couple Events

You can now use the mobile app to edit, add, or delete couple events, such as marriage, divorce, etc.

Memories: The Updated People Page

The updated People page in Memories has been released to all users. To see the page, go to FamilySearch.org, click Memories at the top of the screen, and in the drop-down list, click People.

Here are some of the updates:

  • The page has a new look.
  • Family Tree automatically displays all the people in your scope of interest who have memories attached to them. (The scope of interest is 4 generations of ancestors and 1 generation of their descendants.)
  • To change the category of people you see, click the arrows for Show at the top of the page, and click a category.

What New August 6





You now easily discover more information about the people displayed on the page:

What New August 7









  • The person’s life span has been added.
  • The gray thumbnails of pictures behind the person’s portrait indicate more memories for the person. Click the person to go to the page that displays all the memories that have been added. Even if you don’t see thumbnails of more photos, click the person to see if other users have added stories or documents.
  • Click the star to be notified when information or memories are changed or added for the person. To quit being notified of changes, just click the star
  • Click View My Relationship to see how you are related to the person.


What New August 8









Thumbnails of Original Records

Several places in FamilySearch.org display a photo icon or thumbnail. It means you can see an image of the original document online if you click the icon.

In response to requests from users, FamilySearch.org has replaced the generic thumbnail with a thumbnail of the original document. This informs users of the type of document to expect before they click to view it.

Be sure to click the icon and view the document images for your ancestor’s records. Original records often include information that wasn’t indexed. (For example, the 1900 census tells you how many children a woman had and how many were still living.) Indexers try to be as accurate as possible, but sometimes you can read the original record better than the indexer because you know the name you are looking for.

Additionally, the information about the image is now presented below the thumbnail in a clear and easy-to-read table. The person’s indexed data and household data has also been re-organized to make it faster to read and understand.

What New August 9












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  1. Steve

    Can you confirm there have been no NEW collections added to FamilySearch since May? There have been no notifications in the Blog, so I have assumed those responsible have been on vacation.

  2. August 2015 update crashes every time I made and entry or corrected duplicate entries. It crashed and I had to restart the program 7 times in one hour of work this morning. What gives?

  3. The indexing program crashes and I cannot shut down. This happened a month ago. What can be done? I’ve uninstalled and reinstalled.


  4. Some place names are stil completely in error. One that I am having trouble with
    Randers has never been in Aarhus and never will be…. Please advise.

  5. My login account name is westernrose56 but when I try to log in with my account password, it does absolutely nothing but say that either the account name or password is invalid. Please, can someone assist me in getting onto the Family Tree page correctly? Please email me at the above address and Thank you very much.RMCC

  6. Please make the What’s New on FamilySearch downloadable. I like to keep these updates and have to cut and paste to do so.

    This is good valuable info for FHCs and I distribute them to members. Downloadable would really help!

  7. I know you are American based but it will be nice to see other countries included in the future.
    Also: my understanding of “Cheryl” is that it is a derivation of “Charles” (British definition)
    Thanks for all you are doing.

  8. New delete proviso. Can you delete an incorrect person on your tree that was placed there by someone else? I am positive about the people placed on my tree as they are my parents. I have deleted misinformation before, now do I have to leave it on my tree?