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2020 - Q4 Newsletter

This edition will cover the following topics:

Scheduled Maintenance

TLS 1.0 Removal

In the 2018 September Newsletter we mentioned:

"It is important to ensure your integration stays current with the latest SSL/TLS libraries to minimize security vulnerabilities and to maintain compatibility with FamilySearch systems. FamilySearch currently supports TLS v1.1 and v1.2. It is recommended that your integration connect using TLS v1.2."

In the coming weeks we will be removing support for TLS v1.0 as part of ongoing maintenance. If you are using a current HTTP/SSL library, your application shouldn't have a problem with this update.

New Enumerations Coming

According to the API Evolution Guide, common changes include the following,

Change: Support for a new enumerated value (name type, fact type, etc.) defined by GEDCOM X is added.
Designation: Compatible
Client Developer Expectations: Ensure your software is forward-compatible and ignores any enumerated values it does not recognize.
FamilySearch Expectations: Not a Pending Modification. Made available as needed.

Please be sure that your software ignores any enumerated values it does not recognize, for example, the value "OTHER" may be used.

New enumeration values for Ordinance Rollup Status

In the coming weeks, new values will be added to the enumeration for the Ordinance Rollup Status. Your application logic should ignore any of these new values that it doesn't know how to handle. See Ordinance Rollup Status resource for more information.

New enumeration values for Relationship Types

New values, such as "OTHER", will be added to the Relationship Types enumeration, where historically it has only been "Spouse" and "ParentChild". For a current list of new values, you may refer to RelationshipType values, with the understanding that additional values may be added. If your application does not handle these new types, these relationships can be safely ignored. If you have feedback regarding the new relationship types, please contact

Upcoming 2021 Changes

OAuth 2.0 Changes for Desktop and Mobile

As mentioned in the 2020 Q3 Newsletter, support for the OAuth 2.0 Password Flow will be discontinued in February 2021. However, there is a delay in schedule for migrating clients off of the OAuth 2.0 Password flow. We appreciate all of the developers who have already reached out to us and have begun work on the migration to the OAuth 2.0 Authorization flow. While the Authorization flow is functional for obtaining tokens now, we recommend holding off the release of this functionality in your product until we complete a redesign on the Refresh Token behavior. The new behavior will be ready mid-2021. Once released, we will provide a window of time for your customers to be able to update to the new functionality before shutting off the Password flow. We encourage you to be ready with the new functionality to release as soon as we’ve made our update.

A new guide OAuth 2.0 for Native Apps has been released to assist in this transition. Sample code and detailed explanation of how this works is included.

Please contact if you have any questions or need help. We are happy to set up a time to walk you through the details and answer questions.


FamilySearch has been working with key influencers in the family history market to prepare for a future release of GEDCOM. Many of the large websites, desktop providers, and tools providers have already started making recommendations for this release. If you are interested in learning about and participating with this effort, we can send you the preliminary draft if you sign a GEDCOM Participation and Confidentiality Agreement. This will enable you to get an early look at what's coming and make plans to support the improvements that are coming to GEDCOM.

NOTE: GEDCOM X will continue to be the standard for the FamilySearch API. Supporting updates to the GEDCOM standard is necessary for file format changes since the 5.5 release in 1996.

If interested, please send your request for the electronic GEDCOM Participation and Confidentiality Agreement to

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