What’s New on FamilySearch.org—April 2015

March 26, 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.



The Landscape Pedigree View Has Been Redesigned

There are a number of significant improvements to the Family Tree’s most popular view—the landscape view. The new view is being released slowly. If you don’t see the updated view now, it will be coming.

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The improvements include the following:

    • Marriage Information. The marriage information is displayed for each couple.
    • Users can now use the mouse scroll (in addition to clicking and dragging the screen) to move the view.
    • The preferred photo is displayed for each person. This feature will be introduced gradually to ensure that the Memories system can handle the load.
    • The icons for research suggestions, data problems, record hints, and temple opportunities are displayed when they are available for a person.
    • Two Color Schemes. Users can choose between two color schemes (Daybreak and Nightfall).
    • Simplified Alternate Parent and Spouse Selection. It is much easier to select which parents or spouse you want to see. (For example, if a woman married twice, you can choose more easily to see her with the husband who was your ancestor.)
    • Easier to Identify the Descendant. It will be easy to tell at a glance whether the husband or the wife is the direct descendant of an ancestor.
    • No Hover Actions. The control that lets you see the children for each couple is always displayed. You no longer have to hover over the couple to see the control. This feature improves support for touch devices.


Updated Genealogies Pages

The search form, search results, and record details pages have been updated for the Genealogies page (user-submitted names from the International Genealogical Index, Ancestral File, Pedigree Resource File, and Community Trees). To search Genealogies, click Search at the top of the page on FamilySearch.org, and then click Genealogies.

The search form is now similar to the historical records search form, enabling you to draw on your familiarity with that form without losing the unique functionality of the Genealogies search. The search results now have new functionality, such as column headers that let you rearrange the columns and filters that help you explore the search results.

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When you click a search result, the families are displayed in a way similar to the landscape pedigree in Family Tree. Some results may have arrows you can click to see more generations.

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Why Is the Redesign Important?

Additional collections of tree data will soon be added to the Genealogies search. The changes allow the addition of more collections and make the tools easier to use and more efficient.

Dismiss Suggestions on Family Tree

Sometimes the system indicates research suggestions and data problems that are not valid. (For example, the system may suggest that you look for a spouse for your great aunt, but your great aunt never married.) You can now dismiss invalid research suggestions and data problems so you no longer see them. However, some items will only be dismissed after you attach a source, correct a date, or remove a relationship.

Marking a Record Hint as “Not a Match”

Similar to dismissing a suggestion, you can also mark a record hint as “Not a Match.” For each person in Family Tree, FamilySearch.org compares the person’s information with all of the indexed records and displays the records that appear to be a match. These are called record hints. The accuracy of the matches is high, but occasionally FamilySearch.org will display a record that is not about your ancestor. You can mark the record as “Not a Match” so it won’t keep appearing on the Record Hints list.

Marking a record as “Not a Match” just got easier. On a person’s Details page, if you click the name in the record hint, the system displays the record information on a pop-up card. Compare the information on the card to the person’s information on the Details page. If the record is not a match, just click Not a Match at the bottom of the card. The system removes the record hint from that person.

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Discussions Are Kept When You Merge Two Records

Now, when you merge two records for the same person, all discussions from both records are copied to the record that is kept. Previously, discussions from the deleted record were no longer available.

Shutdown of new.FamilySearch.org

The new.FamilySearch.org website was replaced by FamilySearch.org. The new.FamilySearch.org website has been closed. It still synchronizes with Family Tree on FamilySearch.org, but you cannot sign in or view new.FamilySearch.org, and third-party programs cannot access the data on the site.

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  1. I am having a problem with the site not being available or the site can’t display that right now check back later. Is there a reason for this? It happens when adding a hit or merging 2 people. Is this due to site updating?

    1. Rachel, it may help to delete the temporary internet files and cookies on your web browser. If it is due to an update, it should be fixed soon.

  2. Many times the record hints are alredy posted by earlier research.
    I would like to be able to say “already posted, instead of not a match.
    Or that could be “Not a match or already posted”

  3. I check for duplicate records. When I find that an ancestor has a list of multiple duplicate records, I try to merge them. It is frustrating to try to merge records, only to receive an error message that “these records cannot be merged.” and does not give the reason why.

    I would like to be able to have the ability like we did a number of years ago, when you could bring up a merged record and it would show you, side by side, up to 10 records that had been merged together. You could go through to find the merging errors and separate them from the correct information.

  4. record hints! There needs to be a “not a match” option, beneath the hint, so that when the dates and or country of birth are totally wrong, you can eliminate them, without having to open another page.

  5. love all the changes. they make a researchers job so much easier. The new landscape especially is awesome. thank you

  6. Some time ago I issued a case which has obviously been ignored or buried.

    Our Family History Center director is color blind. So much on the Landscape view is tied to the colors of icons which for a person that is color blind are just various shades of grey.

    I suggest a feature so that when a mouse pointer hovers over each icon that a pop-up description is given for its function.

    1. Terrence, thank you for your feedback. I have forwarded your comment on for consideration. Keep checking back for updates on the new landscape view!

  7. I found hints on an ancestor, their name was on a Marriage record for her son. I didn’t want the hint for her. I went to the record for the son & found no hints even though it was his record of marriage. Can you explain this. Thank you.

  8. Awesome. I am amazed and so pleased at the continuous improvement of the functionality and ease of use of this world class architecture. Well done to all. Your efforts are greatly appreciated!

  9. Can you explain why when you are adding a name on Family Tree and search for them in the system (with lots of info to match) they don’t show up, but when you try to reserve their temple ordinances, suddenly there is a duplicate. Why didn’t the duplicate show up in the original search? When I would search in new.familysearch.org a large variety of possible matches would show up, but they don’t show up in the new Family Tree.

  10. Landscape is great but I have a couple of concerns.1. People don’t like not having some sort of indicator that all the families Temple ordinances are completed. It used to be a Temple with a check mark. Something. 2. When I’m looking at my ancestors, it doesn’t indicate that one of my great-grandparents has another spouse. It shows if a descendant has another spouse, but not my ancestor. Can that be fixed?

    1. Good question, Kathy. There should be a button that says ‘show all’ where the couple is on the tree, but it seems to not be visible for many people. I would imagine an update will help fix this soon.

  11. What do I do if a record hints shows up and I have already attached that information but I didn’t use the record hint to create that source. If I say it isn’t a match I am concerned that the system will then not put hints that are correct for the person. I wish there was an “Already Attached” button so then the system would recognize more hints for that person

    1. I share your concern. I too have had the same problem. I too wish the engineers would match records which are “hints” with sources that has already been listed.

    2. I think ron Tanner addressed this at rootstech (although I would have thought an already attached option would have been a no-brainer when they put this system in place…) Basically you can either leave it in the hints (where it does annoy but doesn’t really hurt anything) OR you can attach it (which places it in sources twice — again annoying but not really harmful — I’ve even attached it and then eliminated one of them from the source box with the explanation that it was the only way I could get it out of the hints box). He did say the ONE THING YOU SHOULD NOT DO is mark it not a match for the very reason you referred to: the system reads that as a signal not to match hints for records containing that name because they are not a match.

      1. This is what I remember too from looking at the RootsTech videos but I didn’t have all the details you cite in order to give that information here as you just did. All the bugs will, I believe, eventually be eliminated. As it is, at least now there’s a way to get Record Hints attached. If done twice, your solution sounds good, Cathleen.

  12. I still continue to find ordinances showing Ready, when I know very well that they are done. Previously, I would go to new.familysearch.org and retrieve the information, contact you and get it transferred, but now that is not available. Are you making any progress in getting ALL the important information transferred?

    1. This happens to me every now and then. There are two systems for keeping track of temple ordinances: FamilySearch and the Temple Department list. When I, for example, have a card showing that ordinances were completed (I can check this because I keep my cards when they’re done), I take it to the temple office for the worker there to access the Temple Department list. Most of the time she can see there that the work’s been done. The confusing part comes next, whether she can fix the problem, herself, or whether I need then to ask FamilySearch helpers to do it. Lately it seems to be more of the other. But it doesn’t take longer than a week or so. There’s another eventuality, of course, that the original card wasn’t scanned properly. In that case, in the temple office another card is made which prints the dates and temple abbreviations for all ordinances showing in the official (Temple Dept.) list, and leaves open the ordinance not showing, and I get the ordinance redone. It works pretty well, all things considered.

      1. Hmmm… I thought this was going to be connected to Cathleen’s post about reattaching Hints. Oh well… That’s where it should have gone–and WOULD have gone if I hadn’t clicked Reply from my e-mail Inbox.

  13. Thank you, thank you for making the Pedigree Chart in the Landscape Form. We’ns DO seem to like what we are comfy with.

  14. I have a question regarding Record Hints.
    When I have already attached a source to
    a person, many times a “Hint” will show of which I have already attached that source.
    When I attached that new “Hint” as shown and delete my original source attached, the “Hint” keeps reappearing.
    I do not want to say “not a match” as then it may not show future options available.
    Besides the options:
    Match or Not a Match I feel it would be advantages to have “Duplicate Source”
    so that we know it did apply to this person but it was already used as a source for this person.
    With a duplicate option the source would hopefully not not display again.

    Thanks for all the great changes in FT
    and I love using FT.

    Gwen Heaton

    1. Sometimes if it stays there as a hint after you’ve attached it, it’s just a matter of refreshing you screen. But regarding the same record being indexed 2 times and coming up a second time, I look to see if one has an IMAGE attached and am sure to take that one.

  15. What is the status of your temple names being cut off? thanks.I have names that have been sent to the temple for over 3 years and not done yet.