What’s New on FamilySearch—June 2016

July 5, 2016  - by 
What's New on FamilySearch

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

FamilySearch Family Tree Mobile App: Manage “Other Information”

On the FamilySearch Family Tree mobile app, you can now add and edit “Other Information” such as an alternate name, military service, naturalization, and residence. This will let you provide more details and improve the quality of information for your ancestors.

  1. Tap Add Other Information
  2. Tap the type of information you want to add or edit.
  3. Tap Edit to add or edit the information.



FamilySearch: Standardized Places in England

The way FamilySearch standardizes places in England has changed a little. (When you enter a place in Family Tree, the system shows you a standard way to list the place. The standard format lists a more complete place and improves users’ search results.)

For places in England, you will be able to select the format that shows either England or the United Kingdom as the country, as in this example.

If the date is from 1801 to the present, in the information stored in Family Tree, it will use the United Kingdom as the country. For dates prior to 1801, the system will use England as the country. This change may not affect what you see in the record, but it should improve the way the system handles places in England.

FamilySearch: Individuals of Unusual Size (IOUS) Can Now Be Merged

In the past, the Family Tree system had some limitations in merging duplicate records that had been merged many times. These were sometimes referred to as Individuals of Unusual Size or IOUS, because of the many pieces of data that had previously been merged. With the upgrade of the Family Tree system, the limitation is now gone so these large duplicate records can be merged. 

FamilySearch: Record Indexed Data Added to the Source Card

FamilySearch Sources now shows the indexed data when the source title is clicked and the source card is opened in Family Tree. You can choose to show or hide the data by clicking the show or hide link under the Indexed Data section of the source card. This feature will also be added to the source box in the next few weeks.

FamilySearch: Editing a Source Is Now Done In-Line

You can now edit a source in-line on any source card.

FamilySearch: Source Box Enhancement

The Source Box allows you to keep and organize record sources you have found on FamilySearch. The list of folders and the list of sources have now been separated on the screen, and users can scroll through them independently. This makes it easier to look through sources without losing one’s place in the folder, or vice versa, when you have a large number of folders and sources. It also makes it easier to drag and drop sources into folders. 


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  1. I appreciate the improvements to the Source Box. However the limitation of 50 folders is not adequate for my needs as I like to group records by a single family. Any chance the number of folders will be increased in the near future.

  2. FamilySearch: Editing a Source Is Now Done In-Line
    You can now edit a source in-line on any source card.
    Does this change the Indexed information that all see, or is this only what you see?
    Example: Census indexed record shows family surname as Puada, another as Parvely, while last name is Paraday

  3. I don’t understand why the official FS author said “.. it should IMPROVE the way the system handles places in England.” The system still allows us to decide whether to add “UK” or not (and I rarely do so – I’d probably do it for Guernsey). So does our choice affect the ability of the system to “handle” things?

    I believe that entities like England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are so well known (more so than Maine, Idaho, South Carolina, etc.) that it is not necessary to add UK when I send a letter to, say, Scotland. However, my personal opinion is irrelevant: what I’m after is for FS to explain the claimed “improvement” in handling places. And how much does it matter which we choose to use?

    If nobody from FS replies, should I suppose the answers to the issue are not known? Perhaps the announced change is not important at all. I’d love to understand it.

    1. Standardized places account for locations across time. For example, on some records a place may be a territory while later it is a township than in more modern days a sprawling city. Our standards must account for all time frames for a place. Some places were in one country and then later part of another country. This is what is being shown with England as they were part of the UK after an earlier period. The goal is to represent what would be found on a record and have that used to not only match others with that same representation but with a more modern name.

      1. It would have been useful to all users if the original author had offered a few words of explanation with his original statement, “.. it should IMPROVE the way the system handles places in England.” That statement invited the impression that England was a special case.

        FSFT also needs more context sensitive explanatory statements, in addition to the explanations that are hidden away in nooks and crannies of Help.

        One would definitely help many people if it came up at the “Place” field for them to see. Users need educating.

  4. Nice.BUT… needs some tweaking. It is VERY user UNFRIENDLY website. Not able to make changes easily,also,does not calculate problems like the old PAF5 program had done.It is not staright forwardto use.AND i use many standalone programs.This Site should alsobe able to export Gedcomfile to save for emergency backup!