What’s New on FamilySearch—February 2016

February 23, 2016  - 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

Descendancy View: Add Spouses and Children

You can now add spouses and children when you are using the Descendancy view. If you choose to display the Add People option, plus signs appear by the names of the people. If the plus sign is gray, the Add function is disabled. You will need to expand the family to enable the Add functionality.

Click the arrow next to the person to expand the family. When the family is expanded, you will see a black plus sign. A black plus sign means that you can add a spouse or child.

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The add options include add a spouse, add a child to the person and the person’s spouse, or add a child with an unknown mother or father. When you click a black plus sign, you will see a pop-up indicating what people can be added. Click the option you need.

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This feature is on by default. If you don’t want the option to appear, click the Descendancy icon. Then click Show in the upper right. To unselect the option, click the Add People box .

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Family Tree: Change the Order of the Sections on a Person’s Details Page

You can now change the order of the sections on a person’s details page. The smaller sections on the right can also be collapsed or reordered.

Just click the gear icon (located in the upper right) so you can reorder the sections. (When you click the gear icon, hash marks appear in the upper right of each section, and the gear icon spins.) You can drag the sections to the order you prefer. You may find it easier to drag a section to a new position if you collapse it first. When you have finished, click the gear icon again to save your changes.

The way to expand and collapse a section is now an arrow rather than text that says “Open” or “Close.” If the arrow points down, the section is expanded and displays all the information for that section. If the arrow points to the right, the section is collapsed. To see the information in a collapsed section, click the arrow.

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Memories Gallery

We have been testing a new gallery concept for organizing artifacts you uploaded to FamilySearch.org. After extensive testing and user feedback, we are now releasing the new gallery to all FamilySearch users.

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In addition to the articles in this issue of “What’s New on FamilySearch,” here are links to blog articles describing the new gallery:

Filtering Artifacts

You can see all your artifacts together, or you can filter them to see only photos, stories, documents, or audio. You can also arrange them by the date they were added, by their titles in alphabetical order, or by artifacts that have no titles or aren’t tagged.


Family Tree had a feature that let you organize artifacts into albums, but the feature was difficult to find and slightly cumbersome to use. Now all of your albums are listed on the left side, and you can drag and drop artifacts into the albums. You can either drag the artifacts one at a time or select multiple artifacts to drag and drop.


To upload photos, documents, and audio files, you can drag and drop them into the gallery.

If you prefer, you can upload files by clicking the green plus icon and then using those upload options.

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Gallery: Changing a Photo to a Document or a Document to a Photo

You can now easily make changes if you added a document to the photo section or a photo to the document section. Right-click on the artifact, and in the drop-down list, click the option you need (Change to Document or Change to Photo). You can change a single artifact at a time, or you can change a group of artifacts.

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Gallery: Contextual Help Added

You will now find contextual help in the gallery. Just click the purple light bulb icon to learn how to perform various tasks available on that page. This icon can be found in the lower right corner of the page. When you click the icon, a panel slides out that gives you access to the instructions. Help is currently available on how to add a new memory, create a new album, add memories to an album, and find specific memories.

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Gallery: Additional Options (Rotate, Download, Add to Album, Move to My Archive)

After you select a memory, a new actions bar appears on the screen indicating what can be done with the artifact. Options for a photo now include opening it in a new window, rotating it, downloading it, adding it to an album, changing it to a document, moving it to My Archive , or deleting it.

If you select multiple photos, the rotate and download options are not available, but you can still move the selected photos to an album or My Archive, change them to documents, or delete them.

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Gallery: Comment Badge

When an artifact has a user comment associated with it, a badge indicating the number of comments is displayed on the bottom right of the thumbnail image.

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Memories: Send a Message

When you click a contributor’s name within the Memories pages, the contributor card that is displayed now includes a messaging link. This link lets you contact other patrons via the FamilySearch messaging service.

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  1. Your “Test Run” this morning: not sure it matters but, for what it’s worth, I received it as an email just as I receive other blog posts.

  2. I don’t know how else to get in touch with you Mr. Anderson. You created a Test Post that said “This is a test blog to see if I can create a blog post, publish it without a category, use the Exclude tag and still get a valid URL without anyone seeing it.”

    I get an email about the post, but no I can’t really see the post as a blog. This might mean that I would get the whole bog as an email I believe that has happened before. I have seen blogs in my email that then don’t exist on the blog. They have sometimes talked about new features.

    1. The book Family Stories is designed for people who don’t have internet access or computer skills can fill out. They can keep it to pass information down in their families. They can also let someone else use it to enter the information into Family Search. You can order it from the church online store or by calling. Last I checked, it was a dollar. I have ordered it for people in my ward

  3. We have been entering our photos to Memories. We would like to tag our children and have the pictures go to their site on our tree. So far, we have not been able to tag our children so they can see the pictures of themselves growing up. Is there a way to make this happen so our children can enjoy those pictures and documents? Thank you, Stan Crippen

    1. Stan, because your children are living, the photos and memories you attach to their profile on your tree will not be visible to anyone but you. They also likely have a separate profile for themselves because each living person needs to be created separately since information of living persons cannot be shared on the public tree for the safety of the people involved. You can read more about it here. I hope this helps!