What’s Coming to FamilySearch in 2020

January 6, 2020  - by 

With each new year, FamilySearch has goals for improving your experience and helping people around the world discover and connect with their families. So what’s new on FamilySearch in 2020? Here’s your sneak peek!

This year, FamilySearch will expand its reach by adding more languages and more social capabilities. Some key experiences such as the Family Tree and Memories will also have new and improved functionality.

More Languages

Do you have friends or family members who speak a different language? FamilySearch.org will have support for more languages at the beginning of 2020. The FamilySearch Family Tree, records search, Memories, and other essential site experiences will be made available in the following additional languages:

  • Albanian
  • Bulgarian
  • Khmer
  • Czech
  • Danish
  • Dutch
  • Finnish
  • Hungarian
  • Indonesian
  • Mongolian

  • Norwegian
  • Polish
  • Romanian
  • Samoan
  • Slovak
  • Swedish
  • Thai
  • Tongan
  • Vietnamese

Note: The FamilySearch website and Family Tree app are already available in English, Portuguese, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Russian, Traditional Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.

For most users, the FamilySearch site will automatically open in the language that best matches their browser or device settings. You can also change your language on the FamilySearch website using the language menu in the footer.

Family looking at different language locations around the world.

Faster Access to New Records and Editable Dates and Places in Indexes

FamilySearch is releasing a new tool for viewing recently digitized record images. This feature will help you more easily find images that aren’t yet indexed (or text searchable), which gives you quicker access to new records. FamilySearch has more than 300 cameras working to preserve records worldwide. With the upcoming Explore Images tool, new record images can be made viewable on the site in a matter of days or weeks, instead of going through months or years of processing.

In addition, dates and places in record indexes will soon be editable on FamilySearch.org. This feature is similar to an update in 2019 that allowed users to edit the name fields in indexed records.

Better Merging

With the new year, you will see significant improvements to the merging experience in the FamilyTree. The FamilySearch Family Tree is the world’s largest shared tree—which means that users can merge ancestor profiles (person pages) when they find duplicate profiles. This experience will soon to be streamlined and enhanced.

Updates to Latest Changes and a New Contributions Tab

The Latest Changes log for person pages will be updated in 2020. You will be able to see more details for what has been edited on each person page in your tree view.

Also, a new My Contributions tab is coming soon to the Family Tree app and desktop site. This feature will celebrate what you’ve added to the Family Tree, including source, memories, and persons added. It will also include an overview of changes you have made across the shared tree and a list of the private persons in your private space. (These are the profiles you have created for living persons, which are kept private. Read more about private spaces in the Family Tree here.)

Easier Ways to Find and Sort Memories and Improved “Likes”

A simple but powerful update to Memories will let you add topic tags to photos and documents uploaded to the FamilySearch site and apps. This change essentially allows you to categorize memories you add or have added to your ancestors’ profiles. It will also improve searching within your ancestors’ memories. Imagine that you wanted to find pictures of an ancestor’s past Halloween costumes or holiday celebrations. With this tagging feature, that is much more possible.

The ability to “like” whole albums in FamilySearch Memories will also be available in the new year. Currently, FamilySearch users can “like” individual photos and other memories so they show up in the My Likes section of their Memories gallery. Soon you will be able to do the same with photos you have grouped into albums.

Going Social

In 2020, FamilySearch will add updates to help improve social interactions between users on the FamilySearch website. Family Tree users will also be able to share their ancestors’ person pages on social media websites such as WhatsApp and Facebook.

Sharing stories on social media.

About FamilySearch

FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for more than 100 years.

You can access FamilySearch services and resources for free at FamilySearch.org, through the FamilySearch apps, or by visiting over 5,000 family history centers in 129 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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  1. Have found that large portions of my family tree has been deleted, went to add/update information only to find that they no longer exsist and I am not the only one that this has happened to. Have stopped doing family history am gutted that so much hard work can just be eradicated on a whim.

  2. It is very frustrating when you get notices that you have a relative that needs temple ordinances done only to find that someone else has requested them and the work not being done. Then family search allows those individuals to hold those names in reserve for two years. Why don’t you cut back on the two year wait and do like a six month wait and if the ordinances haven’t been done then release those people so some of the rest of us can get the ordinances done.Very frustrating to say the least.

  3. Is there or when will there be the ability to share living people added to my tree with other members of my family so that a living person does not have to be added several times, such as children now have to be added by both of the parents.

  4. I’m glad to know that FamilySearch Team are looking for improvements, but at the same time it scares me, because the last major update made in 2012 erased me a lot of information that for years I had tried to find. In addition, a few weeks ago a relative joined some ancestors, but mine disappeared completely and that did not leave me satisfied, since the idea-in my opinion-is to increase the information and/or correct the errors if necessary.