FamilySearch Combines Indexes and Record Images in a Single View


Those using to find historical records can now enjoy a search experience that allows researchers to compare extracted indexes and the image the index came from in a single view, which results in fewer clicks and faster conclusions.

Indexes vs. Images

Volunteers have indexed billions of names from historical records that have been digitized and made available at The indexing process makes key pieces of information from the original record searchable using modern technology, so researchers can find a record based on name, date, location, relationships, and other key pieces of information. While these indexes are invaluable, those reviewing records must still compare the index with the digitized image to ensure the index is accurate and to discover additional information that was not indexed. Prior to this new improvement, the indexed information and the actual digital image were only found on separate web pages. This meant that comparing the two versions of information required navigating back and forth between the index and the image or opening up multiple tabs or browser sessions to compare the pages side by side.

Now, the new hybrid record view makes the information that was indexed from an historical record visible when reviewing the digitized image of the record. This is achieved by creating a split pane, where the index appears below the image.

Flexible Viewing 

This new hybrid view of the historical record provides the person viewing the image flexibility for viewing both the image and the indexed information. The capability to zoom and move the image to focus on key details is preserved in the new experience. The indexed information is added in a scrollable pane immediately below the image, allowing for easy comparison.


The index pane groups information by record. For example, all the people in a household record are grouped together and highlighted based on the initial query, allowing the person searching for family to recognize where the household begins and ends on the associated image. This grouping also applies to birth, marriage, death, and other records that often contain multiple names in a single record. The index pane can be adjusted to show more or less information on pages with multiple records. The index pane can also be minimized to allow full focus on the image itself. If the persons on a record are split across multiple images, you will see a selector at the top left of the image viewer allowing you to view swap between the images associated with that record. If you wish to browse surrounding images, NOT associated with the search result, the user can click the "Open in New Window" link in the top right. The resulting window will display the full image navigation tools along the top. As you mouse over other persons displayed in the data grid a record icon will appear on the left, that if clicked, will take the user to the person details page for the clicked person.

Ongoing Search Innovation 

FamilySearch is committed to continually improve the experience of its patrons across the world who are searching for information about their ancestors. We are constantly identifying and implementing improvements to make the millions of people who use each month more efficient and effective in their efforts.


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