What’s New on FamilySearch—June, 2015

June 1, 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.



Use Mobile Apps to Reserve Ordinances for the Temple

You can now use the mobile app to reserve ancestors’ ordinances for the temple. For anything you do with ordinances (such as reserve or share), you will need a live connection to the Internet. This ensures the integrity of the data and verifies that the temple ordinances are still available.

The recent enhancements to the mobile apps should greatly increase your ability to find ancestors and reserve the temple ordinances for them.

Whats New June 3












New Memories Feature
When you add photos from a person’s Memories page, Family Tree automatically adds a tag to the photo. You usually have to adjust the position and size of the tag, and you may want to add a description or add tags to other people in the photo. That’s easy if you add one photo at a time.

Many users prefer to upload several photos for a person and then adjust or add the tags. You had to go to the person’s Memories page, open one photo, adjust or add the tags, and then return to the person’s Memories page to open the next photo. You had to go to the person’s Memories page between every photo. Users have asked if we could simplify the process. So we did.

Arrows have been added to the page where you tag the photo. Open one photo, adjust or add the tags, and then click an arrow to go to the next or previous photo. You no longer have to go to the Memories page between each photo.

Whats New June 1










New Partners

FamilySearch works with a variety of partners to provide you with as many ways as possible to find, add, and share information about your ancestors. If a product or feature is listed as “FamilySearch Certified,” it means the product is compatible with FamilySearch.org and has features that conform to our strict standards of quality.

To see new and existing partners and certified products, see www.FamilySearch.org/apps. New partners are added as their products are certified.

New Icon Colors

For consistency, the color of available ordinances have changed from light blue to light green . This makes the temple icon, the ordinance status icon, and the ordinance fly-out the same color. The color of an ordinance that is In Progress and is printed is now dark green.

Here is the legend for the current colors:

Whats New June 4













Coming Soon

Unreserving Ordinance Reservations after Two Years

In the next few months, FamilySearch will begin unreserving temple ordinances if no ordinances have been done for the person in the last two years. This applies only to members living in the US and Canada. If you have reservations that you haven’t been able to complete, now is a good time to share them with family members through email or to share them with the temple.

Please keep the following in mind:

  • If you share the reservations with the temple, the ordinances will not be unreserved. The temples will ensure that the ordinances are completed.
  • Reservations for a deceased person will only be unreserved if the most recent ordinance was completed more than two years ago. (So the name will be unreserved if it has been more than 2 years since an ordinance was done for the person.)
  • Unreserving inactive temple reservations has become a priority due to the large number of ordinances that have been reserved for more than two years, and also to comply with instructions from the First Presidency to ensure that temple work for ancestors is completed in a timely manner. This will also allow more members to participate in the temple work for their own ancestors.

There are nearly 12 million ordinance reservations held by FamilySearch patrons in Family Tree. Amazingly, about 5% of FamilySearch patrons hold 60% of those reservations. Users with large reservation lists will be alerted to this upcoming change through email and postal mail where possible.

What You Can Do

If you have a large reserved list, there are things you can do to help ensure that the work for these ancestors is completed in a timely manner. Here are some ideas to help you get started.

  • Review Your Temple Reservation List – To see your temple reservation list, sign in to FamilySearch.org, and click the Temple tab at the top of the screen. To sort the names by the date you reserved them, click Date Reserved. The system rearranges the names and puts the ones that have been reserved the longest at the top. Decide which ordinances you will be able to do yourself and which ones you could share.
  • Share Ordinances with Family Members by Email –You can use email to share temple ordinances with family members and friends. This is a convenient, “cardless” way to share the blessings of doing temple ordinances.
  1. On the reservation list, click the box next to the ancestors you would like to share with a family member or friend. (The system puts a check mark in the box.)Tip: To remove the check mark, click the box again.
  2. Click Share, and in the drop down list, click Share with Family or Friends.

Whats New June 6












3. Enter the name and email address of the family or friend you are sending the ordinances to, add a short message if you want, and click Send.

On your temple reservation list, the names you have shared will be marked with an envelope icon. The names remain on your reservation list until they are accepted by your family or friend. When the names are accepted, the names disappear from your reservation list and appear on the temple reservation list of the person you shared them with.

If the names are not accepted in 2 weeks, the share envelope icons are removed, and you can print the family ordinance request, share the ordinances again, or unreserve the names.

Share with the Temple

If you don’t have family members or friends who are able to perform the temple ordinances, you could share the ordinances with the temple. This is a great way to ensure that the ordinances are done in a timely manner. Members all over the world who attend the temple can help complete the ordinances.

Unreserve the Ordinances, and Reserve Them Again

In a few cases, an ordinance may have been on your list for two years, and, for special reasons, you need to continue to reserve the ordinance on your list. (For example, some families hold the ordinances for a deceased father until a son is old enough to do his father’s ordinances.) You can unreserve the ordinance and then reserve the ordinance again to keep it on your list for another 2 years. This should only happen in rare instances because holding names leaves the ancestors waiting for the temple ordinances and keeps others from participating in providing the ordinances.

Do Nothing

A final option is to just do nothing. The uncompleted ordinances that qualify will be automatically unreserved, and other family members will be able to reserve and do the ordinances.

If you don’t have names on your temple reservation list that will be unreserved, you can still benefit from this feature. Watch for ancestors who might be coming off one of your relatives’ lists. You can reserve the ordinances and help complete the temple work. Don’t reserve more names than you can reasonably do in the near future. If you can’t get them done soon, please allow others to reserve and do the temple work.

We’re excited about this new development and know that it will lead to many more of Heavenly Father’s children receiving the saving temple ordinances.

More Color and Icon Changes

We will be making more changes to the colors and icons in the next month.

  • For temple ordinances, “Needs More Information” will go from orange to purple.
  • “Record Hints” will be changed to a bright orange with an image that looks like a record.
  • “Research Suggestions” will change to an image that looks like a sign post.

Here’s an example of the new icons and colors on a Descendancy view.

Whats New June 2













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  1. A very confused Family History Consultant! There are two mixed messages coming through to the consultants as well as the church members and the public.
    (1) Request names for either the youth or family members to be taken to the temple WITHOUT doing cleanup, the research and duplication check is done. OR (2) DO the research and source, cleanup, find duplicates and then after all that is done do the temple work. I personally think that number (2) should be required and steps written to point out each procedure with the end product doing the temple work. Perhaps you can clarify this to me so that I can correctly teach those who request my help. Thank you

  2. I have a person that I shared with the temple in 2011 and the Endowment has yet to be done. Is this issue going to be addressed any time soon?

  3. I have reserved some ancestors because the work has been done repeatedly and others are attempting to do work for them with spouces they never had. My reservations preclude further improper connections being made. If these are released the amount of false information will increase. I hope your filters will alert you to probable duplications or unlikely connections. But I agree that releasing reserved ordinances after two years is a very good thing to do. Thanks for all you do.

  4. I’ve always loved FamilySearch.org, but that love grows with each new change made to the program. It keeps getting easier and easier for us to search for our ancestors through hints, attaching records and reserving names for doing temple ordinances. This is an AMAZING program and kudos to all those involved in the changes being made to help all of us.

  5. I like this new way of finding our ancestors. I am learning more and more. Thank you for you hard work.

  6. Yeah for making it easier to post and tag photos without having to go back every time which was so tedious. I love you all for everything you are doing to help us. Greatest work ever.

    1. Baptism are reserved, printed and done in just under a week… everythink else can take up to 5 Years… depents on the gender…

      1. Thanks Sylvia for your quick and kind reply. Can you or someone else please go deeper in the reply to my question? Specifically and on average; how long does it takes to perform temple ordinances for men vs. women, besides baptisms?

  7. Unreserving Tempelordinancereservations…

    I would love to see this happening for the Names i gave to the Tempel to do the work for me and my Family. We have only a few Male Members in the Family going to the Tempel and it take the Tempel up to 5 Years to complete Endowment for Male’s. But only 1 to 2 Years for the Female’s…

    So for the Tempel to reaktivate the old Names would make more sense then giving back the reservation for names, we would like to do on our own…

    1. Hello Sylvia,
      I see at familysearch/tree that you are interested at my ancestor Carl Ferdinand Peters 1823-1902. Is he your ancestor to?
      If you want to Change Information please write me a mail
      Winfried Elze Germany

  8. I am in the process of cleaning up my RootsMagic with Family Tree. I am sharing all names with the Temple. Each day I do 100 names. How long do those names stay in my file on Family Search showing as shared with Temple. I was thinking that once they were shared with the Temple the names would no longer be on my temple shared list. So how long do the names stay on my shared list? And how long after that will the ordinances be done?

    1. They will stay in your shared file until they are completed. Certain ordinances are completed faster than others. I think females are generally completed faster as well. I have heard male endowments can take up to 2 years but there are a lot of variables so it is hard to say.

      1. Thanks for the fast reply. With such a push on to get names to the temple I would have thought they would have been done a little quicker than that. Good to know. Thanks again.

        1. Since we are being encouraged to take our own family names to the temple, that means the names that are shared with the temple may take some time if more people are bringing their own. However, you could try sharing the names with family, friends, or ward members to get them through quicker if you’d like.